CT Adds Domestic Violence Protections to Fair Employment Practices Act
On October 1, 2022, the Connecticut Legislature amended Connecticut’s Fair Employment Practices Act (“CFEPA”) to apply to all employers with one or more employees, and to prohibit employment discrimination against domestic violence victims.
In essence, the Legislature declared domestic violence victims as members of a protected class. As a result, such individuals are entitled to “reasonable accommodations,” including a reasonable leave of absence from their employment, to seek attention for injuries caused by domestic violence or obtain services to address their circumstances. The law now requires that employers post a notice regarding the rights of employees victimized by domestic violence including information on resources available to such individuals. A copy of a notice that complies with the new law can be found here and should be posted in your place of business.
As with other leaves of absence for employees who are members of a protected class, employers are entitled to request certain documentation verifying the need for leave within a reasonable time after any absence. It is our recommendation that all such documentation, including but not limited to any medical information, be maintained in a confidential file separate and distinct from the employee’s personnel file. The confidential file should be accessible only to those in management with a business need to know.
Employers also are entitled (but not required) to provide twelve (12) days of unpaid leave for reasons connected with “family violence” under a separate statute which defines “family violence” differently from “domestic violence.”
Finally, note that paid sick leave can be used in any circumstances where unpaid leave is available as a result of domestic or family violence.
For more information, please contact Attorney Michael Kopsick at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tracey Toney at email@example.com.