Last week in Delva v. The Continental Group, Inc., the Supreme Court of Florida held that the Florida state law prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sex includes pregnancy discrimination. Significantly, in support of its analysis, the Court recognized the obvious—namely that pregnancy is “a natural condition unique to females and a primary characteristic of the female sex.”
In recent years, many employers have tried to argue that the Florida Civil Rights Act did not protect female employees on the basis of pregnancy, which was obviously wrong and contrary to the intent of the Florida Civil Rights Act. The Supreme Court decision comes as a result of a conflict between two Florida appellate courts on the issue. The Supreme Court answered the question and affirmatively held that it is an unlawful employment practice under state law to discriminate against female workers on the basis of pregnancy. The Delva decision is a big win for female employees in Florida.