A new Connecticut labor law requires employers to post a notice in Spanish as well as English advising employees about their right to be free from discrimination relating to pregnancy and childbirth. Employers must post the notice regardless of the number of Spanish speakers they have in their workforce.
Here are some other points that all Connecticut employers with more than three employees should know about this important Connecticut labor law.
What Types of Pregnancy Discrimination Does Connecticut Law Prohibit?
The law prohibits all Connecticut employers from discriminating against employees and job applicants because of pregnancy. It classifies pregnancy broadly, including childbirth and conditions relating to pregnancy, such as expressing milk and breastfeeding.
The labor law poster offers several examples of prohibited discriminatory conduct:
• terminating a person’s employment because of her pregnancy, childbirth, or a related condition;
• denying an employee’s reasonable request for a leave of absence for a disability due to pregnancy, such as when a doctor prescribes bed rest;
• denying the disability or leave benefits that an employee has accrued under an employer’s benefits plan;
• failing to reinstate an employee to her original job or an equivalent position when she returns from leave;
· limiting, segregating, or classifying the employee in a way that would deprive her of employment opportunities; and
• discriminating against the employee in the terms or conditions of employment.
What Kinds of Reasonable Accommodations Does Connecticut Require for Pregnant Employees?
Connecticut employers must offer a reasonable accommodation to employees or job applicants who are pregnant or who need to breastfeed or express milk at work.
The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities suggests that reasonable accommodations may include the following:
• permitting the employee to sit while she’s working;
• offering the employee more frequent or longer breaks;
• allowing the employee time to rest periodically;
• assisting the employee with manual labor;
• restructuring her job;
• providing light-duty assignments;
• modifying her work schedule;
• transferring her temporarily to less strenuous or less hazardous work;
• giving her time off to recover from childbirth (as prescribed by a physician, typically for six to eight weeks); and
• scheduling break time and providing appropriate facilities (that are not a bathroom) for expressing milk.
Employers cannot discriminate against employees or job applicants by refusing them a reasonable accommodation. If an employer engages in any of the following conduct, they are violating the law:
• failing to honor a reasonable accommodation request where the request does not impose an undue hardship that is significantly difficult or expensive;
• denying job opportunities to employees or job applicants because they requested a reasonable accommodation;
• forcing employees or job applicants to accept a reasonable accommodation when they have no known limitations related to their pregnancy or when the accommodation is not required to perform the essential duties of their job;
• requiring employees to take a leave of absence instead of offering a reasonable accommodation; or
• retaliating against employees because of a request for a reasonable accommodation.
Where to Get the Required Connecticut Labor Law Posters
Employers must display this notice plus give it to all employees who notify their employer of their pregnancy or related conditions and to new employees.
The English and Spanish editions of this poster are available online at our website, along with the rest of the required Connecticut labor law posters, in an all-in-one format. And to make it even more convenient to stay up to date with new posters as they arise, you can get an annual subscription to our 1-year compliance plan, which will send you all updates at no additional cost for an entire year.