Gov. Ned Lamont has indicated he will sign legislation making sweeping changes to the state's workplace sexual harassment training requirements.

The state House approved SB 3 on a 121-23 vote June 1, two weeks after it won unanimous passage in the Senate.

The bill mandates that businesses with a few as three employees provide all workers with sexual harassment prevention training.

SB 3 expands the state's current training requirements, which requires companies with 50 or more employees to train supervisory workers within six months of hiring.

It also requires the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities to develop and offer online videos and other interactive training at no cost to businesses.

Amendments

House Republicans worked with Democrats on several amendments before lawmakers acted on the measure.

For example, the bill originally allowed CHRO to visit a business unannounced and inspect required workplace postings of discrimination and harassment prevention notices.

The amended language permits CHRO inspections only when a discrimination claim has been filed in the last 12 months.

The amended language permits CHRO inspections only if a company has drawn a discrimination claim within the previous 12 months.

Further, the original bill prevented employers from making any change in the working conditions of an employee who complained of harassment unless the employee consented to the change in writing.

Balance

CBIA argued this made it more difficult to balance the need to protect an employee from further harassment while affording due process rights to the accused during an investigation.

Republican lawmakers negotiated a change that allows employers to make job condition changes without written consent provided it is reasonable and not a detriment to the complainant.

SB 3 extends the time to file a CHRO complaint alleging discrimination, including sexual harassment, and allows CHRO to seek punitive damages in certain cases.

The bill also extends the statute of limitations for certain crimes, including sexual assault.


For more information, contact CBIA's Eric Gjede (860.480.1784) | @egjede