Asked about 1 year ago - Pompano Beach, FLFlag
In October 2011 I became pregnant but unfortunately lost the pregnancy in December 2011. Prior to my pregnancy I was my bosses go to person. (My boss openly communicated my value to internal and external partners regularly.) After my pregnancy, I was completely isolated and excluded. I attempted to access human resources but my boss would not participate saying he did not need their services and human resources let me know there was no other support to be offered to me individually. I lost any possibility of growth apart from switching positions to a new department. I work in a specialized skill area so switching within the company could offer growth but would require a completely new career path that would not continue in the profession I have practiced for 14 years. I became pregnant once again and I took FMLA leave to avoid the stresses generated by the working conditions with my boss to ensure no issues with my pregnancy. I’m almost out of FMLA time but feel I can’t return to position because of how hostile the work environment is. It was not isolated to me but I was recognizably treated the worst by boss than any other individuals in the department. My question is, should I fill a complete with the EEOC and what is the trigger date for filing a complaint? Should I send a request for assistance to my Human Resource contact for assistance so I can feel comfortable returning? Should I just quit? I have the means to leave my job; however, apart from this treatment I would have preferred to keep working.
You have 300 days to file a pregnancy discrimination complaint with the EEOC in Florida. My colleague is correct on the 180 days that is applied in many other jurisdictions. However, since Florida has a local agency in the FCHR (Florida Commission on Human Relations), the time limit is extended in Florida to 300 days. I suggest you contact a local employment attorney to further discuss your matter and options. Based on the limited information you provided, it appears that you may have a viable claim.
If you would like, I can offer a free consultation.
Michael N. Hanna, Esq.
Hudson & Calleja, LLC
You have 180 days to file a complaint under federal law for pregancy discrimination with the EEOC. Your local state laws may affect your filing time by enlarging that time, but I do not practice in FL and I am not familiar with the local statute of limitations. You should consult with a local employment law attorney. It sounds like your rights may have been violated when your boss treated you different from other employees because of your pregancies and/or FMLA leave. You have 2 or 3 years to file a federal FMLA claim in Court depending on the circumstances.
If you are about to run out of FMLA and cannot return then your rights under the FMLA would end. Your only possible protection would be a discrimination claim since even if incorrect, retaliation is prohibited. This does NOT mean you cannot be terminated but if so then the employer would have to prove that any reason was not a pretext for actual discrimination. However, before filing a Charge I would recommend you spend an hour with a local employment attorney to discuss all the facts. What you write on your Charge may be very different than how an attorney would draft a Charge of Discrimination.
It may be useful for you to realize that in all of the facts that you have set out here at great length, there is nothing that can be recognized as an allegation of unlawful discrimination by your employer.
These are the facts discernible from your post: your boss became remote and non-collaborative at some point after you became pregnant, and he stayed that way even after your pregnancy was no longer an issue affecting your work or availability. No discriminatory statements or specific negative conduct is described. You could have transferred to a different position with your employer and worked under a different boss, but you chose not to. You became pregnant again and have spent almost all of your pregnancy time away from your employment. You have expectations that your work environment will feel "hostile" to you upon your return from pregnancy leave, but you do not describe any specific actions or measures of that hostility. You acknowledge that the expected hostility of the workplace is not directed at or limited to you, but also affects others (presumably not just those who are pregnant).
I don't get it. I have been doing discrimination law for almost 30 years, but I don't see anything even remotely actionable in these facts.
"Hostile" workplace is not established by the subjective assessment of the employee. It is not an antonym for warm and fuzzy or even encouraging and supportive. The work place is not required to be anything other than free of acts and omissions which are manifestations of unlawful bias.
Your boss changed at some point. It may have had nothing to do with you. People change for lots of reasons and the pregnancies of others are not the most likely explanation.
Perhaps you have left the important facts out of your post? In that case, see a local employment attorney.
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