You are afforded protection from harassment or discrimination in the workplace if you work in Connecticut. Especially if you are a disabled individual you have the right to seek gainful employment and to be employed and treated fairly as any other individual. State and Federal law protects individuals from being discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, disability, political affiliation or beliefs. Citizenship status as a lawfully admitted immigrant authorized to work in the United States or participation in any Workforce Investment Act Title I financially assisted program shall also not be used as a basis for employment.
Connecticut (CT) job discrimination law in the workplace and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA protects citizens and employees from harassment or discrimination due to their disability. Any employer, and that includes private business, state and local government, employment agencies and labor unions with 15 or more workers has been covered under the ADA since July 26, 1994. The ADA does not require an employer to hire anyone who is not qualified to perform the essential functions of a particular job. Employers, whenever possible, should make reasonable accommodations for those who are disabled. Reasonable accommodations are adjustments or modifications, which range from making the physical work environment accessible, providing a flexible work schedule or providing equipment for assistance to those who are disabled. For example a TTY machine for those with hearing impairments or a computer that enlarges print for individuals with vision impairments.
The ADA and Connecticut job discrimination law do not limit their protections to only those who are currently or visibly disabled. Someone who once had a disability would still be protected. Those who have a hidden disability such as learning disabilities or HIV are offered the same protections as are those who are not disabled themselves but may be related or associated with a disabled person.
While some states use the federal Title VII laws to deal with sexual discrimination in the workplace, Connecticut Sexual Discrimination Law in the Workplace follows a state law – Chapter 814c. This law makes in illegal for employers and labor organizations to discriminate against its employees on the basis of gender.
Chapter 814c also includes sexual harassment when sexual advances or requests are made in regards to the conditions of employment, when such advances or requests interfere with the employee’s job performance, or when such advances or requests create a hostile or otherwise unsuitable working environment.
Additionally, Chapter 814c protects employees from having to divulge information about their child-bearing plans, pregnancy and familial responsibilities unless the job gives direct exposure to substances which may cause birth defects or hazards to reproductive systems.
Chapter 814c is stricter than the federal law because it applies to all employers who have three or more employees whereas the federal law only applies to those employers who have fifteen or more employees. An “employer” under this law is “any person or employer who has more than 3 employees.”
Under this law, an employee is anyone who is employed under an employer as defined above, except for those employed by their parents, spouses or children and those in domestic service.
If you feel you’ve been a victim of sexual discrimination in the workplace, you need to contact the Connecticut Commission. All complaints must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act by visiting a regional office.
The first thing the Commission will do is send a letter and a copy of your complaint to your employer and will give your employer a chance to respond to the complaint. Then, an investigator will determine if there is reasonable cause to believe there was in fact discrimination. From there, the complaint enters the settlement phase. If these fail, there will be a public hearing.
If you choose to go through the state or federal courts instead of the Connecticut Commission, you must file a request for a “Notice of Right to Sue” with either the EEOC or the Connecticut Commission.
Employers and employees are both responsible for knowing their rights and responsibilities within the law to keep the workplace safe for everyone. It is recommended that all employers keep their Connecticut Labor Law poster up-to-date.
It is the law that employers in Connecticut must hang Connecticut state discrimination posters that outline a worker’s right not to be discriminated against in the workplace. These Connecticut state discrimination posters must be hung in a place where employees gather such as a break room or lunchroom. Connecticut follows and enforces all laws that are against discrimination in the workplace including the necessity for employers to display the appropriate posters.
No person in Connecticut shall be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, color, national origin, age, disability, beliefs, or political affiliation. The Connecticut Department of labor is committed to developing programs that will ensure that all discriminatory practices are eliminated from the workplace and they are also committed to identifying and dealing with any and all discriminatory acts. Connecticut has an official, the State Equal Opportunity Officer, who oversees all programs to eliminate discrimination and serves as a liaison for the Labor Department and all civil rights groups.
A person who feels that he/she has been a victim of discrimination has 180 days from the time of the incident to file an official complaint. The alleged victim may file the complaint with the recipient’s Equal Opportunity Officer or the Director of the Civil Rights Center at the Connecticut Department of Labor. The person filing the complaint is protected from any type of discrimination resulting from filing the complaint.
If an employer fails to hang the Connecticut state discrimination posters informing employees of their rights, that employer can be punished by the law. It is the employer’s responsibility to make sure the poster is hung, that it is hung in a place where it is easily visible, and that the poster includes all the necessary information. If the Connecticut state discrimination posters doesn’t include all the information that workers have a right to know, the employer is in violation of the law.