A police officer has filed suit against the town of Cromwell, claiming her rights were violated when her employer refused to modify her job duties while she was pregnant.
Sarah Alicea has worked as a patrol officer and school resource officer in Cromwell for four years.
When she became pregnant with her first child, she said she was advised by her doctor that she should assume an office role. She claims that instead, the town forced her to take leave without pay.
“The town manager simply just said - we don’t have light duty, so there won’t be any discussion about it, we don’t have it," she told WNPR. "If you’re telling me you can’t work in your full-duty capacity, then you’ll have to go home, you’ll go on FMLA, you’ll use your time, and then you’ll be unpaid when your time runs out.”
Alicea had her daughter just one week ago, but must now return to work, because she has been forced to exhaust her maternity leave while pregnant.
Alicea’s husband is a veteran and now a full-time student.
“My income was the only income, so it’s definitely added a lot of financial burden and frustration during a time that we were both really excited about and looking forward to,” she said.
The lawsuit on her behalf has been filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, along with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission and the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.
The town of Cromwell issued a statement saying it does not comment on pending lawsuits, but Town Manager Anthony Salvatore said he believed the town had complied with state and federal law in the case.