Attorneys & Professionals
Connecticut, along with California, Delaware, Illinois, Maine and New York, require workplace sexual harassment training. Connecticut recently enacted its “Time’s Up Act” to extend its sexual harassment training requirements, require additional notification to employees, and enhance employee protections under its civil rights law. The Act became effective October 1, 2019.
Sexual Harassment Training
Previously, Connecticut required employers with 50 or more employees to provide sexual harassment training to supervisors. Under the Time’s Up Act, however, all employers regardless of size must provide two hours of training to supervisors. Employers with three or more employees must provide training to all employees. The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CCHRO) has developed interactive online training for employers, available here.
For those hired on or after October 1, 2019, sexual harassment training must be conducted for employees and supervisors within their first six months of being hired (or by October 1, 2020, if the employer has less than three employees). Supervisors who were trained after October 1, 2018, do not have to be retrained if their training meets the requirements of the Time’s Up Act. Employers must provide supplemental training to supervisors and employees at least every ten years.
Employers must provide, not later than three months after the employee's start date, a copy of the information concerning the illegality of sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment. An employer may provide this by email with a subject line that includes the words "Sexual Harassment Policy" or words of similar import, if (a) the employer has provided an email account to the employee, or (b) the employee has provided the employer with an email address. Additionally, if the employer has not provided email accounts, the employer must post the information on the employer's internet website if it has one. An employer also may comply with this notice requirement by providing an employee with the link to the CCHRO website by email, text message, or in writing
Enhanced Employee Protections
An employer who fails to provide the sexual harassment training may be fined up to $1,000. Additionally, the CCHRO may sent a representative to an employer’s place of business to examine records, policies, procedures, postings, and sexual harassment training materials to ensure compliance with the Time’s Up Act.
If an employer takes immediate corrective action in response to an employee's claim of sexual harassment, the employer is prohibited from modifying that employee’s conditions of employment unless such employee agrees, in writing, to the modification. "Corrective action" includes employee relocation, assigning an employee to a different work schedule, or other substantive changes to an employee's terms and conditions of employment
The Time’s Up Act also extends the deadline for filing a discrimination complaint with the CCHRO from 180 days to 300 days. Employees are now entitled to recover reasonable attorney’s fees and costs if they prevail on claims before the CCHRO. Additionally, the Time’s Up Act allows employees who prevail in court to recover punitive damages.
Employers should ensure that their sexual harassment training and notification procedures comply with the Time’s Up Act. Contact your Vorys lawyer if you have questions about sexual harassment and EEO training or about workplace training in general.