Sexual harassment training is a nationwide priority for businesses of all sizes. From large corporations with full-time HR staff to mom and pop shops nationwide, businesses now are tuned into the issue following the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements that exploded over social media in 2017.
Current federal laws are being reviewed, and legislation is being introduced throughout the country to help fight sexual harassment in the workplace. Add Connecticut to the list of states enacting laws that expand employer training requirements for employees.
State Extends Sexual Harassment Training to Employees
Connecticut’s Time’s Up Act passed in June 2019 and went into effect on October 1, 2019. Prior to its passage, Connecticut employers with 50 or more employees were required to provide training for supervisors only. The new law now requires all employers in the state with three or more employees to provide:
- New employees with information regarding the illegality of sexual harassment and remedies available to victims (click for English document and for Spanish document)
- Two hours of training all existing employees by October 1, 2020
- Two hours of training and education to new employees hired on or after October 1, 2019, within six months of their start date
Employers with fewer than three employees must provide two hours of training and education to all existing supervisors by October 1, 2020, or within six months to anyone promoted to a position that includes supervisory responsibility.
The Time’s Up Act requires employers to provide training not less than every 10 years. But with increased scrutiny on the subject, prudent businesses will be wise to provide supplement training more frequently. The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recommends ongoing sexual harassment training, and some states require annual or every other year sexual harassment training.
State Resources Available
The state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) was mandated by the new law to create a training video and to make the video available for free to all state employers. You can review the video here after providing a name and email address. In the event you have issues playing or accessing the training course, email the CHRO for additional guidance.
Connecticut employers also should review their existing policies and training materials to ensure compliance with changes and requirements outlined in the Time’s Up Act. Failure to comply with the new training guidelines and information sharing requirements will be considered a “discriminatory practice” and fines of up to $1,000 may be imposed.
For additional information about Connecticut’s requirements for sexual harassment prevention, visit the CHRO website.
[Smart Tip] The new state legislation increases the number of days for filing a written complaint from 180 to 300 days for events occurring on or after October 1, 2019.