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CHRO Issues New Guidance on CT Workplace Accommodations for Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Related Conditions

On April 23, 2019, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities issued a Best Practices Blue Paper offering guidance to employers on how to deal with accommodation requests related to pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions. The full text of the guidance is available here.

This guidance explains the obligations imposed on companies with three or more employees under the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (“CFEPA”), largely echoing the 2017 CFEPA amendments. In short, the blue paper reminds employers that workers are entitled to: reasonable accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions; reasonable leaves of absence due to disability resulting from pregnancy or any pregnancy-related condition or symptom; and reasonable accommodations for lactation needs. 

Further, the guidance reiterates that employers are required to engage in a good faith interactive process with an employee requesting an accommodation or leave and whenever the employer has a reasonable basis to believe an employee may need an accommodation. The guidance lays out the basic stages of the process—starting the process, engaging in the good faith interactive process, and concluding the process—and lists helpful examples of what the process should look like when put into practice. The CHRO highlights the importance of communicating during the process and documenting the results in writing at the end of the process.

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Mary Gambardella Litigation lawyer Wiggin Dana
Partner

Mary brings decades of experience in helping clients comply with ever-changing labor laws and regulations, as well as in managing employment challenges such as sensitive terminations, sexual harassment, reductions in workforce, discrimination claims, and severance agreements. She is a proactive resource for clients seeking her counsel on a variety of human resource issues before they become a costly crisis, as well as a fierce advocate when crises arise.

Mary is Chair of the firm’s Labor, Employment and Benefits Department and regularly represents employers in...

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Lawrence Peikes Employment litigation lawyer Wiggin Dana
Partner

Larry represents the interests of management in all aspects of the employer-employee relationship and is particularly experienced in litigation defense. He has advocated for employers in a wide range of employment cases—before arbitrators, mediators, and government agencies as well as in state and federal courts. In a field where most attorneys rarely appear before a judge, let alone a jury, Larry has successfully tried cases on both the federal and state levels. Despite his extensive courtroom experience, Larry is first and foremost dedicated to finding the best, most pragmatic business solutions to personnel relations challenges, with an eye toward avoiding litigation.

Larry's practice encompasses the full range of employment law issues, including workplace discrimination, sexual and other forms of harassment, wrongful discharge, wage-and-hour compliance, non-competition agreements, trade secret protection, and contract negotiations. Larry represents employers in administrative proceedings before such agencies as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities; the New York State Division of Human Rights and its New York City counterpart; the National Labor Relations Board; the U.S., Connecticut, and New York Departments of Labor; and other administrative bodies charged to enforce federal and state labor laws.

When litigation proves unavoidable, Larry and his team of seasoned employment lawyers have an enviable record of success, disposing of lawsuits on motions, at trial, and by way of advantageous settlements. 

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