City settles pregnant officer discrimination case

Posted at 2:02 PM, Sep 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-07 16:02:26-04

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    Cromwell, Connecticut (WFSB) — A case of discrimination involving a pregnant police officer and the town of Cromwell has been settled.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday, it reached a settlement with the Town of Cromwell on behalf of Sarah Alicea.

The ACLU said Alicea became pregnant with her daughter in 2017 and the town refused to temporarily modify her job duties and instead forced her to take unpaid leave for the last four months of her pregnancy.

“I spoke out to seek justice for me and my family and to make sure no other woman police officer has to experience what I have gone through,” Alicea said in a statement. “I am glad Cromwell has agreed to a policy change to prevent pregnancy from costing another officer her paycheck, and I hope more police departments will follow the town’s lead by creating strong anti-discrimination policies. When we celebrated my daughter’s first birthday in August, I did so knowing that I’ve made the world a better place for her.”

According to the ACLU, Cromwell agreed to adopt a pregnancy policy by the end of next month that conforms with state and federal protections, inform employees of their right to pregnancy accommodation and establish a procedure for employees to obtain reasonable accommodations for pregnancy while they work.

The town also agreed to reimburse Alicea for wages and paid time off benefits that were lost, the ACLU said.

“A woman’s employer should never discriminate against her for choosing to grow or start a family,” said Dan Barrett, legal director of the ACLU of Connecticut and an attorney on the case. “Connecticut towns and cities should take note: discriminating against pregnant workers is illegal, and no worker should have to experience what Sarah went through. Every town and city in the state should adopt a strong policy to protect pregnant workers’ rights, as Cromwell has promised to do.”

Federal law requires covered employers, including law enforcement, to treat pregnant workers the same as they treat other workers who are similar in ability or inability to work. In Connecticut, employers must make a reasonable effort to transfer a pregnant employee to any suitable temporary position.

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