Learn how Connecticut’s new anti-sexual harassment law creates training and posting obligations for all employers, regardless of size.
Connecticut employers take note: there are new sexual harassment posting and training requirements. If you have 3 or more employees, you have training requirements for your entire workforce, encompassing both supervisors and employees. If you have fewer than 3 employees, you have training requirements for supervisors. The fine for failure to provide the required training can be up to $1,000.
Last week, Governor Ned Lamont signed “An Act Combatting Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment” – also known as the “Time’s Up Bill” – into law. The mandates training by October 1, 2020 unless employers have already met the requirements. It also requires supplemental training “not less than every 10 years.” In addition, the bill also imposes posting and employee notification requirements and authorizes the Commission of Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) to conduct inspections to determine employer compliance with the law. CHRO can inspect records, policies, procedures and postings to determine compliance. In addition, the bill significantly extends the statute of limitations under which victims of assault can sue in civil court or criminal court.
Daniel Schwartz, employment law attorney posts The Definitive Employer Guide to Connecticut’s New Anti-Sexual Harassment Law, explains the law, summarizing the new training requirements:
Currently, employers with at least 50 employees are required to give their supervisors two hours of training on state and federal sexual harassment laws and remedies.
The new law will require employers of all sizes to give training to supervisors by October 1, 2020 (or within six months of their assumption of supervisory duties, after that time).
For employers with 3 or more employees, the training must also be given to all other employees also by October 1, 2020 (or within six months of hire, after that time.)
In both instances, the training must be updated every ten years by employers, though it doesn’t seem to be the same two hours — just a “supplemental” update. Also, any employee (including supervisor) trained since October 1, 2018 is exempt from being “retrained” a second time.
Employment Law Attorney Robert Hinton discusses the bill’s requirements in his post Connecticut’s Newly Signed Law Imposes New Sexual Harassment Training Obligations. Here is what he says about the law’s posting and notification requirements:
The bill imposes additional notice requirements on employers to help ensure that employees are aware of the illegality of sexual harassment and the remedies available to victims of sexual harassment. Current law gives the CHRO the authority (which it has exercised) to require employers with three or more employees to post in a prominent and accessible place a notice stating that sexual harassment is illegal and the remedies available to victims. The bill strengthens this notice provision by requiring employers to also send a copy of this information to employees by e-mail within three months of their hire if: (1) the employer has provided an e-mail account to the employee; or (2) the employee has provided the employer with an e-mail address. The e-mail’s subject line must include the words “Sexual Harassment Policy” or words of similar import. Additionally, if an employer has not provided an e-mail account to employees, the employer must post the information regarding the illegality of sexual harassment and remedies available to victims on the employer’s website, if it has one. The employer may also comply with this provision by providing a link to the CHRO’s website.
We encourage CT employers to read the summaries and analysis of the new law provided by employment law attorneys in the two links above. Here are additional resources:
- Littler: New Connecticut Law Addressing Sexual Harassment Imposes Additional Obligations on Employers
- Jackson/Lewis: Connecticut Expands Harassment Training and Posting Obligations for Employers
- Hartford Courant: Laws prohibiting sexual harassment and assault tightened under newly signed law
- CT Commission of Human Rights and Opportunities