Pregnancy is supposed to be one of the most joyous times in a parent’s life. This joy can be marred, however, when your employer takes discriminatory action against you for being in this important life stage. An experienced Hartford employment discrimination attorney can help you prove your wrongful termination or other retaliation was an illegal act of discrimination against pregnancy, as well as help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
Connecticut Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney
If you believe you have been discriminated against through retaliation or wrongful termination due to pregnancy in Hartford, Milford, Manchester, Glastonbury, New Britain, Bristol, Waterbury, New Haven, or another area in Connecticut, the skilled and passionate employment lawyers of Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore may be able to help you.
Backed by over two decades of experience, the knowledgeable employment discrimination law attorneys of Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore in Hartford know the toll discriminatory actions against an expectant parent can take, as well as what kind of fight is required in court to get that parent the compensation and civil justice he or she needs. To submit your Connecticut pregnancy discrimination case for review by Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore in Hartford, fill out and submit our confidential online contact form.
Pregnancy Discrimination and the Law in Connecticut
When it comes to pregnancy discrimination, both federal and state laws protect prospective parents in Connecticut. In 1978, the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 was amended by by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act to make discrimination through retaliation, wrongful termination, or other action on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions illegal. Unlawful discrimination against pregnant women, expectant dads, or parents who could become pregnant includes actions of hiring, firing, pay, job duties or assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.
The two other federal laws that can apply to pregnancy discrimination are the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Federal FMLA law provides protections for expecting and new parents, including a right to unpaid leave if the employee meets certain qualifications. During this unpaid FMLA leave, the employer must continue the employee’s health benefits, if they exist, as well as hold the expecting or new parent’s position until he or she gets back. While pregnancy and childbirth does not prevent you from being laid off, your employer may not terminate you due to conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth, or FMLA leave.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, pregnancy can considered to be a short-term disability. Conditions like preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and pregnancy-induced high blood pressure must be treated by the employer like any other disability. For instance, modified or alternative work duties or other accommodations must be made to pregnant women with certain medical conditions just as the employer would provide to any other temporarily disabled employee. In addition to these terms by the ADA, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act holds that a pregnant woman must be allowed to work, with reasonable accommodations when necessary, for as long as she is able. After a woman gives birth and returns to work, the mother may also have the right to express milk in the workplace under a provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The state laws protecting pregnant women or other expectant or new parents in Connecticut are the Fair Employment Practices Act (CFEPA) and the state-level FMLA for Connecticut. Specifically, section 46a-60(a)(7) of the CFEPA in the Connecticut General Statutes makes it illegal to discriminate against you for being a pregnant or expectant parent, including termination of employment or refusing you a reasonable leave of absence for disability. FMLA in Connecticut is similar to the federal law, but with different qualification guidelines. These laws can be complicated, and proving pregnancy discrimination in Connecticut is a detailed process, so working with a Hartford employment discrimination attorney is important if you believe you are facing discrimination for pregnancy or being an expectant parent.
Examples of Pregnancy Discrimination in the Connecticut Workplace
There are many different reasons a Connecticut employer may discriminate against a pregnant employee or expectant father, including prejudices against working women and mothers (sexism, or gender discrimination), fear of lost productivity due to employee’s absence, insufficient resources to support covering the employee’s duties in his or her absence, and a fear of multiple ongoing accommodations once the employee returns. Regardless of the reason, pregnancy discrimination is unlawful on both a state and federal level.
It is important to note that you only have a pregnancy discrimination claim if the reason why you were retaliated against or terminated was due to your pregnancy or status as an expectant parent. For instance, it is not wrongful termination under pregnancy discrimination if while under FMLA your employer conducts routine layoffs which your department happens to be a part of. However, if you are laid off while other employees of equal work ethic and seniority are kept on, you may have a claim. Some examples of pregnancy discrimination include the following:
- Not being hired due to visible pregnancy or expressed desire to become pregnant
- Being fired, demoted, or otherwise retaliated against for expressing desire to become pregnant
- Being fired, demoted, or otherwise retaliated against after informing employer of pregnancy or status as expectant parent
- Being fired or experiencing an unreasonable job change during or after maternity leave
- Receiving a demotion or pay dock due to pregnancy
- Failure of employer to give you the same or similar job upon return from maternity or paternity leave
- Failure of employer to provide reasonable accommodations to work duties during pregnancy
- Failure of employer to provide safe work conditions
- Employee is forced to work in unsafe working conditions while pregnant
- Pregnant employee is forced to come into work past the point when she is able, or is forced to go on leave before she is ready
Pregnancy discrimination is most common among pregnant mothers in the workforce. However, expectant fathers or parents who are otherwise expectant (as in for adoption) also have the protections the laws against pregnancy discrimination provide. Working with an experienced employment law attorney in Hartford may be your best chance at receiving a favorable outcome in your Connecticut pregnancy discrimination case.
Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore | Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer in Hartford
If you believe you have been discriminated against due to pregnancy, your intentions to become pregnant, or your status as an expectant parent in Milford, Hartford, Manchester, Glastonbury, New Britain, Bristol, Waterbury, New Haven, Bridgeport, New London, Stamford, Meriden, Middletown, or anywhere else in Connecticut, the experienced employment law attorneys of Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore may be able to help you.
With over 20 years of experience helping clients like you, our employment lawyers will review your circumstances for a case and fight for civil justice and compensation when necessary. For a review of your potential pregnancy discrimination case in Connecticut, submit your case to our discrimination attorneys through our confidential online contact form today.