Sexual Harassment Prevention

09.17.2020
HR & Safety

From January 1, 2021, Connecticut companies with three or more employees are required to provide training on sexual harassment prevention to all employees.

Companies with less than three employees must provide training for supervisors.

Since 1992, Connecticut businesses with 50 or more employees were required to provide supervisors only with two hours of sexual harassment prevention training.

The new requirements were outlined in a sweeping pair of bills enacted by the Connecticut General Assembly in 2019—Public Act 19-3  and Public Act 19-93.

Training Requirements

For companies with three or more employees:

  • Any employee (supervisors and non-supervisors) hired after Oct. 1, 2019, must receive harassment prevention training within six months of hiring date.
  • All employees (supervisors and non-supervisors) hired before Oct. 1, 2019, must receive harassment prevention training by Jan. 1, 2021.
  • Training provided since Oct. 1, 2018 shall be credited towards the above training obligations.
  • Besides the posted notice currently required that references the illegality of sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment, all employees within three months of hire date must receive the CHRO designated harassment poster, or comparable information such as a company policy via email, text, in writing, or by posting it on the company website.
  • Employers must provide periodic supplemental training not less than every 10 years.
  • The existing 180-day deadline for filing harassment complaints is extended to 300 days after the triggering incident for complaints arising on or after Oct. 1, 2019.

For companies with less than three employees:

  • Current supervisors must receive harassment prevention training by Oct. 1, 2020.
  • Supervisors hired after Oct. 1, 2019 must be trained within six months of hiring date.

While the prior law suggested but did not require refresher training sessions every three years, the new statutes mandate updated training sessions at least every 10 years.

All new supervisory employees must be trained within six months of their assumption of a supervisory position.

CHRO Training Materials

As required by the legislation, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities has developed and  and made online training materials available at no cost to employers that fulfill the training requirements.

  • CHRO will periodically present this training as a live webinar, but the training module will also be posted online for viewing at any time.
  • Content is the same for supervisors and employees, and will run two hours, divided into four segments, so people will be able to complete the training in smaller sessions if desired.
  • Content will consist of several video vignettes of hypothetical scenarios, supplemented with Powerpoint slides.
  • CHRO staff will respond to email questions in real time in the live sessions, and within 48 hours for those viewing the recorded materials online.
  • Training will be available via remote, mobile devices, cell phones, tablets, and laptop or desktop computers.
  • Attendees completing the training can download and print an attendance certificate so management can document compliance.

Non-Compliance

Fines for failure to post required notices will increase from $250 to $750.

Failure to provide required training has been added to the existing list of discriminatory practices.
That means the lack of training may be added to other accusations of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, etc.

An employer may not modify conditions of employment of an employee who complains of harassment without the employee’s written agreement, unless the employer can present evidence that the changes were reasonable and not of detriment to the complaining employee.

Corrective actions include, but are not limited to, workstation relocation, shift/schedule changes, etc.

Complaints

The deadline, or statute of limitations for filing a CHRO discrimination or harassment complaint, will be extended from the current 180 days to 300 days, making it consistent with existing federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission standards.

The CHRO may conduct a workplace inspection for required postings, notices and training if there is a reasonable belief the employer is in violation, or where a complaint has been filed within the last 12 months.

https://www.cbia.com/benefits/hr-safety/hr-training-programs/

More Information

Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Stay Connected with CBIA News Digests

The latest news and information delivered directly to your inbox.

CBIA IS FIGHTING TO MAKE CONNECTICUT A TOP STATE FOR BUSINESS, JOBS, AND ECONOMIC GROWTH. A BETTER BUSINESS CLIMATE MEANS A BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR EVERYONE.