Connecticut Amends its Workplace Sexual Harassment Law

Jul 22, 2019
| David Pearson
Connecticut Workplace Sexual Harassment

As workplace harassment has become one of the most prevalent workplace issues, not just employers are taking preventative actions.

In 2018, New York and New York City enacted anti-sexual harassment legislation that set mandated training requirements and policies in the workplace.

But New York isn’t the only state to sign such a law. On June 18th, 2019, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed legislation known publicly as the “Time’s Up” bill into law.

This is the latest employment-related law that has been passed in Connecticut, along with a $15 minimum wage and new paid family leave legislation.
 

The Connecticut “Time’s Up” Law

The law passed by Connecticut lawmakers and signed by Governor Lamont makes significant changes to existing sexual harassment legislation in the state that impact employers.

One of the biggest changes under the amended law is that employers of all sizes will now be required to provide sexual harassment training to employees beginning on October 1, 2019, though the extent of the training is determined by company size.

Connecticut employers with three or more employees will be required to provide at least two hours of sexual harassment to all employees:
 
  • Training must be provided to existing employees by October 1, 2020
  • All employees hired after October 1, 2019, must be given the training within six months of their hire date

For employers with less than 3 employees, sexual harassment training is still required under the amended law. However, only supervisory workers will need to receive the training in order for employers to remain compliant.

Under old state law, only employers with 50 or more employees were required to provide sexual harassment training.

For employers, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) will be creating resources that can be used to satisfy the mandatory training requirements at no costs to employers.
 

Posting Requirements under Connecticut’s Sexual Harassment Legislation

Under previous sexual harassment legislation, Connecticut employers were required to post information on “the illegality of sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of harassment” in a visible and accessible location.

With the amended law, employers must now also provide this information to new employees within three months of their start date.

Employers must also provide the information to every employee by email – either their work or personal email. If employees do not have a work email address, then an employer must post the required information on their internet site.

Additionally, an employer can comply with these distribution requirements by providing the CHRO website link (to the section related to sexual harassment) to employees either by email, text message, or in writing.

Employers who fail to post or distribute the mandatory sexual harassment information can be subject to fines of up to $750.

If employers fail to provide the mandatory training to their required employers, then they can also face an additional $750 fine.
 

Connecticut Amends its Sexual Harassment Laws

With this new bill signed and existing sexual harassment laws amended, almost all employers in Connecticut will need to comply with the “Time’s Up” bill or face potential fines and penalties.

Connecticut employers can learn more about the legislation here, and can reach out to HR compliance professionals for assistance if needed.

One area of HR is becoming increasingly more difficult for small employers to properly handle — maintaining compliance with employment laws. Download our eBook, Guide to Employment Law: Topics Employers Must Know to Stay Compliant, to learn more about some of the biggest trends and topics in employment law.

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