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Flight Attendant Grounded by Pregnancy Eligible for Unemployment Compensation
Description Florida appeals court reversed the state's decision regarding unemployment compensation and held that a flight attendant, who was required by her employer not to fly for the last 12 weeks of her pregnancy, was eligible for unemployment compensation because she did not initiate the leave of absence.
Topic Employment Law
Key Words Unemployment Compensation; Mandatory Leave; Pregnancy
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts When Lisa Hardy, a flight attendant, was twelve weeks from her delivery due date, American Airlines placed her on mandatory leave of absence under terms of her union contract. She was guaranteed re-employment after childbirth. She filed for unemployment benefits, but they were denied by the state of Florida because she voluntarily initiated her leave of absence. She appealed.
Decision Reversed. Hardy did not voluntarily initiate her leave of absence. This is true whether it is due to the collective bargaining agreement or company policy. Nor does it matter that the pregnancy is voluntary. Hardy did not ask to be put on leave; it was required by her employer, which suggested she apply for unemployment compensation, to which she is entitled.
Citation Hardy v. Florida Unemployment Appeals Commission, 2000 WL 718195 (Slip Copy, Ct. App., Fla., 2000)

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