Workplace Protections for Florida Mothers

As any mother (or parent) knows, life sure doesn’t stop for you after you’ve had a newborn. Many mothers feel they must go back to work days after giving birth, either by financial necessity or from fear of losing their jobs. Fortunately, there are a handful of protections for pregnant and nursing mothers in the workplace. 

Family and Medical Leave Act

As long as your employer has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius of your worksite, you can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for prenatal care incapacitation as a result of your pregnancy. You may also take advantage of the 12-week FMLA leave after you give birth or adopt. In addition to the 50-employee requirement, generally, you also must have worked for your employer at least one year and logged at least 1,250 working hours during the previous year. 

If you used none of your 12 weeks before giving birth, you may use it to “bond” with your baby. Again, FMLA leave is unpaid. If your company provides paid vacation or sick days or similar, though, you could conceivably continue getting paid. 

Pregnancy Discrimination Act

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act was passed in 1978, as an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and is a powerful federal law providing protections for women in the workplace. Simply put, this law makes it illegal for current or prospective employers to treat you differently and less favorably than other employees due to your pregnancy. Every U.S. employer with 15 or more employees must abide by the PDA. 

Pregnancy-Related Disabilities

Employees with disabilities are covered by several federal and state protections. Some pregnancy-related conditions may be considered disabilities in the eyes of the law. In those cases, employers (and potential employers) may not discriminate against employees or candidates due to pregnancy. Additionally, employers are required to give disabled employees reasonable accommodations to help them perform basic and essential job duties.

Affordable Care Act and Nursing Mothers

The Affordable Care Act  amended the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to allow working mothers “reasonable” breaks for expressing breast milk up to one year after giving birth. Employers must also provide a private room, shielded from view, for nursing mothers. That room may not simply be the bathroom, either. Florida mothers are permitted to breastfeed any place you are otherwise legally allowed to be. 


Working mothers and pregnant workers have rights, and Salas Law Firm believes they also deserve dignity and respect in the workplace. If you so much as suspect that your rights are being violated, please call us today to see how we can help you proceed. You may fill out a form here or call us at (954) 315-1155.

The following two tabs change content below.

John Salas