Connecticut Women's Education and Legal Fund
Legal Education

Workplace Issues

CWEALF pioneered Connecticut's battle for workplace equity. If you feel you are being discriminated against or harassed at work, call one of our experienced advocates. CWEALF's advocates will help you understand your rights and explain your options.

You can contact CWEALF's I&R service online or by calling (860) 524-0601 in the Greater Hartford Area or toll-free at 1-800-479-2949. CWEALF's I&R line is open Monday through Thursday from 9am to 2pm and Fridays from 9am to 1pm.

To meet an advocate in person in the Greater Hartford or New Haven area, call (860) 247-6090 to schedule an appointment.

Booklets                                                                                                                                  CWEALF publishes informational booklets on many legal topics.  Please call the I&R line if you are interested in receiving booklets. Some of our booklets are also available to download here.


FAQ

Pregnancy and Family Medical Leave in CT

Download the PFML booklet here

What is pregnancy leave?
Pregnancy leave is an unpaid leave of absence for a reasonable length of time for the disability resulting from pregnancy or childbirth. Generally, the amount of time off considered reasonable is six to eight weeks. But this can vary depending on your condition.

Can I get paid while I'm out on leave?
All of the state and federal laws provide for unpaid leave. However, an employer can adopt a policy requiring you to take any of your unused sick time or vacation time during the leave period. Once you run out of sick or vacation time, the rest of the leave will be unpaid.

Do my health insurance benefits continue during my family or medical leave?
Under the federal law only, all employers are required to continue group health plan benefits for employees on family or medical leave – your insurance coverage must continue up to twelve weeks.

Does my employer have to give me my job back?
Yes. When you return you must be given the original job you held or a similar job with similar pay. There are exceptions if a private company can show that circumstances have changed so much that it would be impossible for them to hire you back or place you in the same or similar position.

What is Pregnancy and Family Medical Leave? Who can qualify for Family and Medical Leave?
PFMLA provides both men and women rights to unpaid leave:

  • For the birth or adoption of a child
  • To care for a very ill child, spouse, or parent
  • For your own serious illness

How does one qualify for Pregnancy and Family Medical Leave?
Under Federal law, a private employer must have 50+ employees within a 75-mile radius and the employee must have worked 1250 hours within a 12-month period.

Under CT State law, a private employer must have 75+ employees within the State of Connecticut and the employee must have worked 1000 hours within a 12-month period.

For more information, contact CWEALF to receive our Pregnancy and Family Medical Leave in CT booklet.


Sexual Harassment at Work

What is sexual harassment?                                                                                                     Sexual harassment is a form of illegal sex discrimination. It is unwelcome sexual conduct that affects the terms and conditions of a person's employment, or creates a hostile environment. In order for something to be considered sexual harassment, it must meet certain criteria. CWEALF's booklet on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace outlines these criteria.

How do I know if my situation is considered sexual harassment under the law?

  • Sexual harassment can include:
  • Sexual propositions accompanied by threats to your job
  • Lewd comments or suggestions
  • Obscene jokes or emails
  • Sexual gestures

What should I do if I feel I'm being sexually harassed?
Refer to your company's sexual harassment policy and follow the procedure for filing a complaint. Keep a record of the harassment. If possible, try talking to the source of the problem or writing them a letter.

What legal action can I take if my employer does not deal with the sexual harassment?
You can file a complaint with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities within 180 days from the time you realize the discriminatory act has occurred. If you miss this deadline, you can file with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission within 240 days.

As an employer, how do I avoid sexual harassment in the workplace?
You should develop comprehensive sexual harassment policies and an effective grievance procedure to handle cases should they arise. Your supervisors should receive training on their responsibilities.

Get Involved

CWEALF works to ensure the legal system is accessible to everyone. We are always looking for attorneys to volunteer as well as others to support this important work. Please contact us if you have an hour or one hundred hours to give.

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