New Connecticut Law Regarding Pregnancy

On October 1, 2017, a new Connecticut law takes effect which requires employers having three or more employees to reasonably accommodate the needs of pregnant employees. Reasonable accommodations may include, but are not limited to, longer breaks, rest periods, assistance with manual labor, job restructuring, light duty modified work schedules and time off to recover from childbirth. This law is in addition to the existing law requiring employers to give employees a reasonable amount time off for pregnancy and childbirth related disabilities. The law also revises the existing prohibition against discrimination in relation to pregnant employees to make clear that pregnancy and childbirth should not affect an employee’s initial terms of hiring nor limit the opportunities of a current employee. The term pregnancy also includes lactation, so this law may implicitly add to the requirements of existing state and federal laws relating to breast feeding.

An accommodation need not be made if it imposes an undue hardship upon the employer. Undue hardship is defined as “an action requiring significant difficulty or expense when considered in light of factors such as (A) the nature and cost of the accommodation; (B) the overall financial resources of the employer; (C) the overall size of the business of the employer with respect to the number of employees, and the number, type and location of its facilities; and (D) the effect on expenses and resources or the impact otherwise of such accommodation upon the operation of the employer.”

Written notice of the rights of pregnant employees must be given to all new and existing employees.

If you have any questions, please contact Barbara Miller at 203-319-7133.

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