Connecticut Sex Discrimination laws & HR compliance analysis

Connecticut Sex Discrimination: What you need to know

The Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act prohibits discrimination in employment based on sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or marital status, unless a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) applies (CT Gen. Stat. Sec. 46a-60). The Act applies to employers with three or more employees.
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BFOQ exception. It is permissible to hire an individual on the basis of sex because of a BFOQ reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the business. Similarly, stating a preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination based on sex in the advertising of employment opportunities is permissible only where gender is a BFOQ. Such situations are rare, however, and employers should be cautious in relying on this rationale when making employment decisions that have a discriminatory effect.
Gender stereotyping. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an employee who had been fired after being accused of sexual harassment was entitled to proceed to a jury trial with his claim of sex discrimination (Sassaman v. Gamache, 566 F.3d 307 (2d Cir. 2009)). A female employee had filed a sexual harassment complaint against the employee. Without conducting an internal investigation, the employee's manager told him to resign or be fired. The employee alleged his manager told him "you probably did what she said you did because you're male." The court ruled that the failure to investigate along with the manager's statement provided sufficient evidence of discrimination based on gender stereotyping for the case to proceed to trial.
Unpaid interns. Effective October 1, 2015, all employers, regardless of size, are prohibited from discriminating against unpaid interns on the basis of sex, gender ...

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