Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities ex rel. Warner v. NERAC Inc.
A male can file a pregnancy-based sex discrimination claim based on the pregnancy of his wife. Stephen Warner filed a complaint with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, alleging that he was discharged because of his age, 38, and because of his sex, as a result of the pregnancy of his wife. Allegedly, the defendant, NERAC Inc., was worried about the insurance effect of the pregnancy of Warner's wife. Warner alleged that NERAC violated Title VII, Connecticut General Statutes §46a-60(a)(1) and his rights under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. NERAC moved to dismiss and argued that Warner did not belong to a protected class, because he was not yet 40 years old. Connecticut discrimination law is broader than federal law, and Presiding Human Rights Referee Michelle Mount found that the CHRO possessed jurisdiction, even though Warner was under 40 years old. NERAC also moved to dismiss Warner's pregnancy-based sex discrimination claim, because Warner is male. "Although pregnancy-based sex discrimination traditionally has female complainants," wrote the human rights referee, "there is no controlling law prohibiting men from filing a claim." The court denied NERAC's motion to dismiss.