A new law in Connecticut, “An Act Combatting Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment” (also known as the “Time’s Up Act”), signed on June 18, 2019, significantly expands existing sexual harassment prevention laws.
The new law will require all Connecticut employers to provide sexual harassment training to supervisors on or before October 1, 2020. After October 1, 2020, all supervisors must receive sexual harassment training within 6 months of their assumption of a supervisory position. Connecticut employers with three or more employees must provide this sexual harassment raining to all other employees, not just supervisors, also on or before October 1, 2020. For new employees hired after October 1, 2020, the sexual harassment training must be conducted within 6 months from the date of hire.
Previous employment law in Connecticut only required sexual harassment training to supervisors at companies with at least 50 employees.
The new training requirement is for a minimum of two hours of sexual harassment training to all employees within one year of October 1, 2019. If a Connecticut employer already provided at least two hours of sexual harassment training since October 1, 2018, additional training is not required at this time.
The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) plans to develop training materials in accordance with the new law for employers to use for training new employees on sexual harassment.
In addition to the training requirement, and the existing posting requirement, employers with 3 or more employees are also required to distribute a copy of information on “the illegality of sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of harassment.” This information must be distributed to all employees within 3 months after an employee’s start date. This information can be sent via email with a subject line including the words “Sexual Harassment Policy” or something similar. It is considered sufficient to provide a link to the website of the CHRO with information on sexual harassment either on a company intranet that employees have access to or send via email, text message, or in writing to employees.
Employers that fail to post or distribute information about sexual harassment prevention to employees can be subject to fines up to $1,000.
The training provided to employees must include information on the federal and state laws covering sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment.
After the initial training, employers must provide additional training at least every 10 years.
In addition to the already mentioned training and posting/distribution requirements, the law also extends the statute of limitations for claims filed with the CHRO from 180 days to 300 days. It’s important to note that this change is for all claims of discrimination and/or harassment, not just sexual harassment.
It is advised that employers in Connecticut review their existing policies and training materials to ensure you are in full compliance with the new law prior to it’s effective date.
For more information about this law, click here.