Connecticut has enacted legislation (Substitute Senate Bill 3) that will, among other things, expand sexual harassment training requirements.
Currently, Connecticut employers with 50 or more employees are required to provide at least two hours of sexual harassment training to supervisory employees.
Employers with three or more employees must post a notice prohibiting sexual harassment and the remedies available to victims of sexual harassment.
Substitute Senate Bill 3:
Training Requirement Expanded:
Employers with Three or More Employees:
Effective October 1, 2019, employers with three or more employees will be required to provide at least two hours of sexual harassment training to all employees and supervisors.
The training must be provided within one year of October 1, 2019 for employees hired before that date. The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) will make available training materials that meet state requirements. If the CHRO does so, those hired on or after October 1, 2019 must receive the training within six months of their date of hire.
Employers with Fewer than Three Employees:
Effective October 1, 2019, employers with fewer than three employees must provide at least two hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisors. Those hired on or after October 1, 2019, must receive the training no later than six months after their start date, provided CHRO has made available training materials that meet the state requirements.
Notice Requirement Expanded:
Effective October 1, 2019, in addition to posting the required notice, employers with three or more employees must also provide the notice to employees via email, using the subject line “Sexual Harassment Policy” or similar verbiage, within three months of an employee's start date, but only if:
· The employer has provided an email account to the employee; or
· The employee has provided the employer with an email address.
If an employer hasn’t provided an email account to the employee, the employer must post the required notice on its website, if the employer maintains one.
An employer may comply with this requirement by providing employees with a link to the required notice on the CHRO’s website. Employers may do so via email, by text message, or in writing.
Note: For the purposes of the sexual harassment training and notice requirements, the definition of “employee” includes anyone employed by an employer, including an individual employed by their parent, spouse, or child.
When an employee complains about sexual harassment, employers sometimes take interim steps to protect the complainant during the investigation. Under Substitute Senate Bill 3, employers are prohibited from taking “corrective action” that would impact the employee who complained about sexual harassment and affect their conditions of employment, unless they agree to the change in writing. Under the law, “corrective action” includes but isn’t limited to:
· Relocating the employee who complained;
· Assigning the employee who complained to a different work schedule; or
· Other substantive changes to the complainant's terms and conditions of employment.
Connecticut employers should watch for the CHRO to release training materials on its website and should develop a plan for ensuring compliance with Substitute Senate Bill 3’s training requirements and notice requirements (if applicable) by the above deadlines.
Please contact your dedicated service professional with any questions.