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State Senator

Ed Gomes

Representing Bridgeport & Stratford

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Gomes Leads Senate Passage of Bill Strengthening Workplace Protections for Pregnant Women

Senator Ed Gomes (D-Bridgeport) led Senate passage of a labor bill that assures the fair treatment of pregnant women in the workplace by expanding employment protections provided in the state’s already existing anti-discrimination law. The bill passed unanimously in the State Senate Tuesday evening.

“Under this bill, Connecticut would have some of the strongest workplace protections for pregnant women in the country,” said Sen. Gomes, chairman of the Labor Committee. “Any discrimination is simply wrong and pregnant women have every right to continue working throughout their pregnancy.”

House Bill 6668 aims to protect women in the workplace by including pregnant women in the state’s anti-discrimination laws.

Employers will be required to provide reasonable workplace accommodations for pregnant employees unless the employer indicates the accommodation would be an undue hardship. However, an employer cannot force a pregnant employee to accept accommodations that she does not want. Job modifications include more frequent bathroom breaks, carrying a water bottle, being allowed to sit down more often, and other temporary changes that would benefit employers by improving workplace safety and recruitment and retention of employees, increasing productivity, employee commitments and diversity, and reducing absenteeism.

HB 6668 will also prohibit employers from limiting or segregating an employee in any way because of the fact that she is pregnant. Under the current laws, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported that nearly 31,000 cases of pregnancy discrimination were filed. An example of discrimination that was brought to the Labor Committee’s attention included situations when pregnant women were given alternative work assignments due to conscious or unconscious discrimination. This bill would give clear protection to women who refuse such alternative assignments, as long as they are able to continue to do their jobs in the same manner before pregnancy.

The bill passed the House of Representative 120-30 and will next go to the desk of the governor for his signature.






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