Connecticut: New Guidance Clarifies Pregnancy Accommodation Requirements

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April 23, 2019

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The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities (CHRO) issued a Best Practices “Bluepaper” to help employers understand their role in accommodating employees impacted by pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions.  The Bluepaper reiterates the standards set out by the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (CFPA); more importantly, it further clarifies or directs employers on how to handle specific situations under the law.

As such, employers should consult the new guidance as well as the existing CFPA.  The guidance expands upon the language of the amendment in important ways, such as:

  • Provides a list of symptoms and conditions for which employees can request accommodations;
  • Provides a non-comprehensive list of potential accommodations, such as more frequent breaks, light duty, permitting drinking or eating at work, etc.;
  • Specifies that employers cannot require medical documentation as a condition of beginning the interactive process, and further, that medical certification should not be necessary in many cases;
    • If employers require medical certification, the employer must (1) allow 15 days to provide certification, and (2) must require all employees seeking medical leave to provide such documentation;
  • States that employees (or required certification) need only confirm that the limitations necessitating the accommodation are related to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related condition; and
  • Specifies that employers can only require a “fitness for duty” certification as part of return-to-work if the employer (1) provided the employee advance notice of this requirement, and (2) requires all employees on temporary disability leaves to follow the same practice.

Employers will also need to continue taking into account any considerations imposed by the Americans with Disabilities Act, statewide paid sick leave, and any state or federal leave of absence requirements.

Action Items

  1. Review the guidance here.
  2. Have leave policies and procedures updated to be consistent with the new requirements.
  3. Have applicable staff trained on the new requirements.
  4. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2019 ManagEase

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