You recently disclosed a disability to your employer, one that requires you to take a slightly longer lunch break. Next thing you know, your position was eliminated, supposedly due to ‘restructuring’, but you see your company advertising the exact same job the next day. Chances are that you’ve been the target of workplace discrimination, which is illegal.

Workplace discrimination takes many forms. What they all have in common is that people who belong to a protected class such as age, gender, race, disability, or religion are subjected to adverse treatment solely because of their status.

Below are five types of workplace discrimination in Connecticut, along with some real-life examples.

Gender Discrimination

Susan works at an accounting firm. One day she overhears a conversation in the payroll department that alarms her- the women in her department are being paid less than men who have similar responsibilities and qualifications.

Under federal and state law, Connecticut employers are prohibited from taking gender into account when determining an employee’s salary. This includes lowering someone’s salary to equalize pay between both genders.

Age Discrimination

53-year-old Joe was laid off after the factory he worked for in Hartford closed down. When he met with a recruiter, he was told that most employers want recent college graduates because “they grasp new technologies more quickly.”

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits discrimination against employees, interns, apprentices, or applicants aged 40 or older. It applies to companies with 20 or more employees, while Connecticut state anti-discrimination laws prohibit ageism in companies with 3 or more workers.

Disability Discrimination

Sandra works in a pet store and has a physical disability that prevents her from carrying anything weighing more than 20 pounds. When she learns that her two co-workers, who have the same responsibilities and amount of experience, are earning more than she is, her manager says that they “have no restrictions on their ability to carry merchandise.”

When companies have 15 or more employees, the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. Connecticut law protects disabled workers employed by companies with a workforce of at least three.

Pregnancy-Based Discrimination

Clare is five months pregnant. After working for seven years at an engineering firm, she applies for a senior position. The job ultimately goes to an applicant with less experience and fewer qualifications. When she approaches the manager who advertised the position, he says that he needs someone who would be “more dedicated” to the department.

Federal and state laws protect pregnant employees and job applicants in Connecticut. The Connecticut legislature recently strengthened the workplace protections for pregnant workers.  For example, the amendment requires employers to provide employees with written notice of their right to be “free from discrimination in relation to pregnancy, childbirth and related conditions, including the right to a reasonable accommodation to the known limitations related to pregnancy.”

Sexual Orientation

James works on a construction site. He is about to be promoted to head a work crew, but when his manager learns that he is gay, the offer is withdrawn. When asked for an explanation, the manager expresses concerns about the crew members having respect for a gay supervisor. Denial of promotion or job advancement is illegal under the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act.

Workplace discrimination hurts both employers who may not be aware that their managers and supervisors are behaving illegally and employees who receive the brunt of negative employment decisions. If you have questions about discriminatory employment practices in Connecticut or need to file or defend yourself against a claim, contact Monarch Law for a case review. We will determine how state or federal law applies to your situation and advise you accordingly.