Does Pregnancy Affect a Workers Compensation Claim in Florida?

Workers compensation insurance provides financial and medical benefits to employees who have been injured while on duty. The situation becomes more complicated if the injured worker seeking benefits is pregnant. Here is everything you need to know about pregnancy and workers compensation in Florida and how an experienced Coral Gables workers comp attorney can help.

Pregnancy and Workers Compensation

A claim for workers compensation benefits can only be made if “accidental injury or death arises out of employment if work performed in the course and scope of employment is the major contributing cause of the injury or death,” as per Florida Workers Compensation law.

Injury means “personal injury or death by accident arising out of and in the course of employment.” The condition of pregnancy is not classified as an injury in terms of a workers compensation claim in and of itself. Thus, if the expecting mother becomes injured or ill as a result of pregnancy complications, they would not have a valid workers compensation claim.

However, if a pregnant worker suffers an injury at work, they are entitled to the benefits of workers compensation just like any other employee. And if the pregnant employee sustains a work injury that complicates the birth, they may have a stronger claim than usual.

Pre-existing Conditions and Workers Compensation

While pregnancy does not directly influence a workers comp claim, it does complicate matters, especially if the employee suffered from pre-existing conditions, including those related to pregnancy such as gestational diabetes or hypertension.

It can be challenging to determine if the injury was solely work-related or if the pre-existing condition was exacerbated by the workplace injury. In such cases, the claimant’s attorney will have to show that 51% of the current state of the disability was due to the workplace accident.

Make sure to contact a Coral Gables workers compensation attorney to evaluate your case and guide you on the next steps in your pregnancy and workers compensation claim process.

injuries are extremely serious during pregnancy

Legal Protections for Pregnant Workers in Florida

In Florida, numerous federal and state laws provide additional protection to employees who are pregnant, to ensure they are treated fairly. The Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA) prohibits employers from treating pregnant employees or job applicants less favorably than non-pregnant people because of their pregnancy.

This prohibition covers all areas of employment, including hiring, firing, promotions, job assignments, pay, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of service.

An employer may not dismiss, demote or reduce working hours of an employee based solely on whether they are pregnant or not. An employer must allow an employee to continue their job as long as they are physically capable of doing so. Employers are further required to accommodate pregnant workers should any restrictions be placed on them by a doctor.

Rights of Pregnant and Pregnancy Related Employees

On December 29, 2022, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) was signed into law. The PWFA, which went into effect on June 27, 2023, is modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and focuses on the obligation that employers provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers and applicants for employment, so long as the accommodation does not pose an undue hardship.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The act further provides protection for employees who are temporarily unable to perform their duties due to pregnancy or its related issues by providing reasonable accommodation for such workers.

Contact a Coral Gables Workers Compensation Attorney Right Away!

It’s important for pregnant workers to understand their rights and for employers to ensure they are in compliance with these laws. If you are a pregnant worker and have suffered a workplace injury, or if you are an employer seeking guidance on pregnancy and workers compensation issues, reach out to a legal professional experienced in workers compensation.

Contact Work Injury Rights at 954-324-COMP to schedule a consultation about your case with an experienced Coral Gables workers comp lawyer!