The General Assembly ended its session on June 7, 2017. There were few labor and employment developments as much of the focus was on the State’s budget situation. The session featured bills that, if passed, would have significantly changed the current state of the law. For example, members of the General Assembly sought to establish paid FMLA leave, stronger pay equity measures and significant increases to the minimum wage. It is likely that most, if not all, of these bills will resurface in future sessions.
One of the bills that did pass was Public Act 17-118, “An Act Concerning Pregnant Women in the Workplace”, which Governor Malloy signed on July 6, 2017. The law becomes effective on October 1, 2017 and amends the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (CFEPA) to provide additional protections for pregnant employees and applicants, including requiring employers to provide reasonable workplace accommodations unless the employer demonstrates that the accommodation would be an undue hardship. The law defines what constitutes a “reasonable accommodation” and an “undue hardship”. Some reasonable accommodations include, without limitation, being permitted to sit while working, more frequent or longer breaks, periodic rest, job restructuring, light duty assignments and modified work schedules.