Employment Discrimination


The Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (CFEPA) prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religious creed, age (over 18), sex, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, past or present history of mental disorder, physical disability, marital status, veteran status and sexual orientation. Sexual harassment is also specifically prohibited. The CFEPA applies to employers who have three or more employees.

There are many Federal laws that also protect employees in some of the groups identified in CFEPA. Federal discrimination laws protecting employees from discrimination are set forth in statutes, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (over 40), and Title VII (race, ethnicity, and gender). In most cases, federal law extends to employers with 15 or more employees, and in some cases 20 or more employees.

If you think you may be a victim of employment discrimination, please contact us for a confidential consultation.


Employees at all levels correctly believe their age and experience are an asset to their organizations. But employers often view an employee’s age as a disadvantage, because of higher salary and benefit costs and misperceptions about productivity and flexibility.

We protect your rights in claims against your employer for hiring younger, less qualified workers to supervise you, or for firing you and filling your job with a younger, lower-paid worker.


Gender discrimination can be fairly obvious when pay inequity between males and females is undeniable and an organization continues to be run by an old boy’s club. But sometimes an employer’s glass ceiling is not so apparent—until you realize that the prized assignments aren’t being given to you and your move to the next level is not going to happen.


It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee on the basis of race with regard to hiring, firing, benefits, compensation, discipline, job training, promotion, or any other condition of employment.

Neither federal nor state laws specifically define “race,” although it’s generally understood as the ancestry or physical or cultural characteristics associated with a particular group of people. That allows protection to be extended to people discriminated against because of their ethnicity. The law also prohibits discrimination based on the race or ethnicity of an employee’s spouse, partner, or friends.

Evidence of racial discrimination need not be direct and typically is not, but can be proven through circumstantial evidence, such as a co-worker using racist language with no serious consequences or workers of your race being let go and replaced by hires of a different race.


Federal and Connecticut laws prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities—in employment, as well as all in areas of public life. Under these laws an employer cannot refuse to hire and cannot fire or discriminate against an employee because of the person’s present or past mental disability, learning disability, or physical disability. Plus, if you care for someone with a disability, but aren’t disabled yourself, you may have protection under the law.


Pregnancy discrimination includes an employer denying time off or reasonable accommodations for a pregnant employee, as well as firing or demoting a pregnant employee. The law also prohibits forced time off or restrictions on work, and any other negative employment actions because of an employee’s pregnancy or related medical condition.

Sexual Harassment

State and federal laws prohibit unwanted sexual conduct in the workplace. Illegal conduct ranges from undesired comments about a person’s body and questions about someone’s personal relationships, to sexual requests. Violations of the law include inappropriate touching by a supervisor, as well as touching or requests for sex by a co-worker when the employer knows, or ought to know, about the behavior.

A supervisor’s demand for sex in return for a job benefit is prohibited even if the employee agrees to it. Also prohibited is sexual conduct that creates a hostile and intimidating work environment. However, the general use of off-color language does not constitute such an environment. Victims can be women or men.

Sexual Orientation

It is generally understood that the phrase “sexual orientation” refers to whether a person is homosexual, or gay; heterosexual, or straight; or bisexual. “Gender identity” refers to a person’s self-identification as a man or a woman, as opposed to that person’s anatomical sex at birth. In addition, not all transgender people are gay; many identify as straight (transgender women with male partners and transgender men with female partners).

Discrimination for sexual orientation or gender identity in the workplace can impact your job status, working environment, health benefits, and a host of other issues.

Marital Status

Employment discrimination on the basis of marital status is prohibited in the state of Connecticut. Employers cannot refuse to hire, or terminate or otherwise take adverse action against an applicant or employee because he or she is single, married, separated, widowed, or divorced. Federal employees are also protected from marital status discrimination by the Civil Service Reform Act, even though Title VII and other federal employment laws do not cover marital status.


Veteran discrimination happens when being a former member of the uniformed military services makes a person a target of workplace prejudice and employment discrimination. A common form occurs when a veteran cannot get employment because of veteran status or disability. When the discrimination applies to a disabled veteran, it may be protected under veteran specific legislation or under overarching laws for all Americans with disabilities.

Need help? Contact Us.


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Trumbull, CT 06611