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What legal rights do working mothers have in Connecticut?

As a new mother, you may be wondering what types of protections and accommodations you can expect in the workplace. The laws surrounding such issues vary greatly by state. In this post, we examine the legal protections a new or expecting mother in Connecticut can anticipate:

Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is a federal law that protects you from workplace discrimination based on this condition. Your employer may not fire you, bypass you for a promotion, treat you with hostility or behave in any other discriminatory manner towards you because you are pregnant.

Maternity leave

Unfortunately, there is no law that guarantees you paid time off after giving birth to or adopting a child. However, there is a federal law--the Family Medical Leave Act--and a state law--the Connecticut Family Medical Leave Act--that offers new mothers unpaid, job-protected leave from work--12 and 16 weeks respectively. The eligibility requirements for the federal and state leaves are different, and you may qualify for both. In this case, both leaves would go into effect at the same time--i.e., you would receive a total of 16 weeks unpaid leave.

Breastfeeding

Under Connecticut law, if you breastfeed your child, your employer must provide you with adequate breaks and a private space to pump breast milk. This private space must be a location other than a bathroom stall. In addition, you are protected from any workplace discrimination for pumping milk at work. Your employer is not required to pay you for such breaks.

If you believe you have suffered workplace discrimination during or following your pregnancy, it's a good idea to consult with an experienced employment law attorney to understand your options.

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