Employee had two verbal warnings already but continues with same attitude. found out she's pregnant and is getting worse
No. Below is some info I obtained from a Web Site for you.
Many people think that employers can arbitrarily fire employees who become pregnant, on the grounds that they will either miss too much work or are no longer physically able to do their jobs. In some cases, that’s actually true. However, in others, pregnant women do have legal protection against employment discrimination and unfair termination under both federal law and Florida law.
PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION ACT
At the federal level, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) specifies that your employer can’t discriminate against you in the terms of your employment just because you’re pregnant. For example, if you’re physically able to do your job during your pregnancy, then your employer has to allow you to do so for as long as you are able - even if that’s right up until the moment you head to the hospital. The PDA also requires any pregnancy-related health benefits to be offered to all employees, regardless of their marital status.
However, not all businesses are subject to the requirements of the PDA. The law only applies to companies with 15 or more people - so if you work for a smaller company, you’re not covered by these protections.
FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT
You may be more familiar with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA requires companies with more than 50 employees to grant 12 weeks of unpaid medical leave per year. This leave can be used as maternity leave, as well as for certain other medical conditions.
Just like the PDA, the FMLA has a few strings attached. For one thing, there is that size restriction mentioned above - only companies with 50 or more employees are subject to the law’s provisions. Second, you can only take advantage of it if you’ve been at your place of employment for over a year, and have logged at least 1250 working hours over that time. Third, under the FMLA your employer may require you to use accrued leave as part of your medical leave - so if you’ve been saving up your days for a vacation, you might have to give some or all of those back.
Of course, if your employer does require you to use accrued leave for your maternity leave but doesn’t generally require the same thing of employees who are using the FMLA for other reasons, you may have a valid claim of discrimination under the PDA, and you should consider consulting an expert in employment and labor law.
HOW DO I TAKE LEAVE UNDER THE FMLA?
There is a process you will have to follow in order to take maternity leave under the FMLA:
First, be sure to give your employer 30 days written notice before taking leave.
You must provide proof of medical necessity, and a note from your doctor isn’t going to cut it. Ask your doctor what documentation she generally provides in these situations, and ask your employer what sort of documentation they expect. Your employer is entitled to a second or third medical opinion, but you aren’t responsible for paying for those.
Stay in touch with your employer regarding your intention to return to work. If you don’t respond to them when they try to check in with you, that may be grounds for termination.
Sometime during your first two days back at work, inform your employer that you wish to have your maternity leave counted as FMLA leave.
STATE-LEVEL PROTECTIONS FROM PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION IN FLORIDA
Florida law is a bit weaker than federal law when it comes to pregnancy discrimination.
The Florida Civil Rights Act doesn’t specifically cover pregnancy, but it has been used to address claims of pregnancy-related discrimination over the years. Like the PDA, however, it only applies to organizations with more than 15 employees.
In Florida, there is no state law mandating that any employer provide maternity leave at all. Pregnant women can be fired for missing too much work because of their pre
This is a very complicated matter that needs to be discussed with more detail before any action is taken. I suggest scheduling a consultation with an employment / discrimination attorney before anything is done. - AN.
It would be wise to tread very carefully here. Yes, you can technically fire an employee that is pregnant, but the reason behind the termination must have nothing to do with the pregnancy, or potential time missed. It seems that you list pregnancy as a reason that the employee needs to be fired, so termination is probably not your best course of action.
Florida is an employment at-will state, which generally means that a private employer can terminate an employee for any reason at any time, whether its a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all. However, there are local ordinances as well as state and federal statutes which prohibit covered employers from discriminating based upon certain protected protected characteristics--pregnancy being one of them. As a result, to determine what laws apply to your company and have all of the material facts reviewed before taking any employment action in this situation, consulting with an experienced labor & employment attorney is likely in your best interests.
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