WHITE PAPER. SPRING 2014.
PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION AND EXPANDED PREGNANCY PROTECTION AND RIGHTS IN CONNECTICUT.
If you are pregnant you have rights in Connecticut that far exceed the your rights under Title VII, and other federal laws. The federal laws prohibit discrimination. In a nutshell, the Connecticut laws require your employer to cooperate with you during your pregnancy.
Discrimination on the basis of pregnancy is gender discrimination. In 1978 that question was settled once and for all with the passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. So, an employer cannot discriminate on the basis of pregnancy according to federal law.
But the absence of discrimination mandated by federal law is a far cry from the laws that exist in Connecticut. In Connecticut, you have several additional rights found in the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act. Not only is it illegal to discriminate on the basis of pregnancy, in Connecticut, under General Statute § 46a-60a(7), an employer must also:
- Grant a woman a reasonable leave of absence due to disability from her pregnancy;
- Reinstate the woman to her original job;
- When reasonably possible, provide a temporary transfer to a job if the woman reasonably believes that her old job might cause injury to her or the fetus.
In other words, as stated earlier, an employer must cooperate with a pregnant employee to allow her some reasonable flexibility due to her pregnancy.
Additionally, if you are pregnant, there are other rules too. The employer cannot:
- discriminate against you on the basis of gender;
- terminate your employment due to your pregnancy (that is obvious);
- deny you compensation owed as a result of the accumulation of leave time or benefits;
- in the hiring process cannot ask you about your child rearing plans.
Also, in some instances you will have rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act to take time off from work if your pregnancy results in a serious medical condition that qualifies under the act.
If you prevail on a claim under the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act, or the Family and Medical Leave Act, the employer must pay your attorney’s fees.
If you believe your rights or the rights of a loved one’s rights to be free of pregnancy discrimination have been violated call us. We can help. Call The Bartinik Law Firm, P.C., 100 Fort Hill Road, Groton, Connecticut at 860-445-8521 or toll free at 888-717-4211.