Florida Senators Seek To Protect Pregnant Employees

, Daily Business Review

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A measure that would ensure women can't be fired for being pregnant, and another aimed at prohibiting employers from using credit reports to judge job applicants, are again on the move in the Florida Senate.

The Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee gave support to both proposals on Monday, even though a number of senators expressed concern about limiting an employer's ability to use a credit history when judging a potential new hire for a non-financial or non-managerial role.

Both measures stalled during the 2013 session.

Several senators said they would vote for the measure (SB 324) by Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, that would limit the use of credit reports because the bill has to clear three more committee stops, However, they said the proposal could hamstring employers. Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, said the proposal could be seen as "government overreach."

"I think an intrusive arm from Tallahassee telling employers how to hire is not a step in the right direction," Richter said.

Detert said her intent is to reduce a barrier for people who are seeking jobs, which would help them improve their credit scores.

"I don't think the credit history tells the employers much about their core predictors of job performance," she said.

However, Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Margate, said that if was he hiring he would want as much information as possible, regardless of the position.

"If I'm an employer I want to know everything I can about a hire," Ring said.

Ring and Richter both voted to advance the measure, expecting their concerns to be addressed before the measure potentially appears before the Judiciary, Governmental Oversight and Accountability and Rules committees.

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