What are the new Connecticut requirements for 2019?
Connecticut Public Act No. 19-16, also referred to as the “Time’s Up Act”, now requires all employers to provide sexual harassment training to supervisors by October 1, 2020. Employers with at least three employees must provide such training to all workers by October 1, 2020. Prior Connecticut law required training only for supervisors, and only at organizations with 50 or more employees. Connecticut was the second state to statutorily mandate anti-harassment training for managers; the Connecticut law went into effect in 1992.
“Supervisory employee “is very broadly defined in the regulations:
any individual who has the authority, by using her or his independent judgment, in the interest of the employer, to hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward or discipline other employees, or responsibility to direct them, or to adjust their grievances or effectively to recommend such actions.
What are the subjects that must be covered?
The training must:
Explain that sexual harassment violates state and federal law;
Define sexual harassment;
Discuss the types of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment under the law, including the fact that the harasser or the victim of harassment may be either a man or a woman and that harassment can occur involving persons of the same or opposite sex;
Describe the remedies available in sexual harassment cases;
Advise employees that people who commit acts of sexual harassment may be subject to both civil and criminal penalties; and
Discuss strategies to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.
While not required, the regulations suggest that material also be included:
Informing participants that all complaints of sexual harassment must be taken seriously, and that once a complaint is made, supervisory employees should report it immediately to officials designated by the employer, and that the contents of the complaint are personal and confidential and are not to be disclosed except to those persons with a need to know;
Conducting interactive exercises to facilitate understanding of what constitutes sexual harassment and how to prevent it;
Teaching the importance of interpersonal skills such as listening and bringing participants to understand what a person who is sexually harassed may be experiencing;
Advising employees of the importance of preventive strategies to avoid the negative effects sexual harassment has upon both the victim and the overall productivity of the workplace due to interpersonal conflicts, poor performance, absenteeism, turnover and grievances;
Explaining the benefits of learning about and eliminating sexual harassment, which include a more positive work environment with greater productivity and potentially lower exposure to liability, in that employers—and supervisors personally—have been held liable when it is shown that they knew or should have known of the harassment;
Explaining the employer’s policy against sexual harassment, including a description of the procedures available for reporting instances of sexual harassment and the types of disciplinary actions which can and will be taken against persons who have been found to have engaged in sexual harassment; and
Discussing the perceptual and communication differences among all persons and, in this context, the concepts of ‘‘reasonable woman’’ and ‘‘reasonable man’’ developed in federal sexual harassment cases.
What are the requirements for training format and delivery?
The training must last at least two hours, and must be interactive. The session must use clear and understandable language and allow participants to ask questions and receive answers. Audio, video, and other teaching aides may be included to increase comprehension or to otherwise enhance the training process.
For the first ten years, Connecticut required in-person, classroom-style training. While in-person training is still preferable, since 2003 the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities has permitted webinars and other types of e-learning, but only if the students are able to ask the trainer questions and get answers either immediately or in a reasonably prompt manner.
When do I have to train new supervisors?
New supervisors must be trained within six months of their taking a supervisory position.
When do I have to train new employees?
New hires must be trained in the first six months of employment.
When do we have to re-train?
The new law mandates updated training every 10 years. The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities encourages employers to provide an update of legal interpretations and related developments concerning sexual harassment to supervisory personnel once every three (3) years.
Managing Within the Law
This strategic seminar is core management training for experienced and new executives, managers, supervisors and leads.
We bring in your organizational policies and values to strengthen your workplace as a great place to work.
Hiring the Best
A program for managers to develop staffing strategies that will support them in selecting top talent, avoid the wrong candidates while minimizing legal risk.
One-on-one sensitivity training is an important tool in helping those employees for whom other training has not been effective and it is often a requirement after a workplace investigation.
Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.