State Law > Connecticut > Connecticut Employment Discrimination Law

Connecticut Employment Discrimination Law

 

2019 Update to Connecticut Sexual Harassment Training and Posting Requirements.

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Sexual Harassment Prevention Resources

 

In the 2019 legislative session, the Connecticut General Assembly passed and the Governor signed Public Acts 19-16 and 19-93, which together constitute the Time’s Up Act.

 

Among other changes to the CHRO process, this legislation establishes new rules and requirements regarding sexual harassment training and education. These provisions and requirements go into effect October 1, 2019. The language, which applies to employers which have three or more employees, includes:

  • Employers will be required to provide to a new employee a copy of information regarding the illegality of sexual harassment and remedies available to victims.
  • Employers must provide all existing employees with two hours of training by October 1, 2020.
  • Employers must provide 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 supervisory employees by October 1, 2020 or within six months to new supervisory employees.
  • Employers must provide periodic supplemental training not less than every ten years.

 

The Time’s Up Act requires the CHRO to post information concerning sexual harassment and remedies available. The CHRO is currently in the process of developing and updating these materials and will make them available as they are completed.

 

The Act also requires the agency to develop an online training and education video and to make that available to employers at no cost. The CHRO is working on this project and aims to have the video completed and available by October 1, 2019 when the training requirements become effective for employers. 

End 2019 Update

Connecticut employment discrimination law is located in the following sections of the General Statutes of Connecticut.

  • 5-227. State employment-Prohibited discrimination.
  • 31-40s. Employment discrimination for use of tobacco products.
Equal Pay
  • 31-75. Discrimination in compensation on account of sex.
Human Rights and Opportunities Act
  • 46a-51. Definitions.
  • 46a-52. Establishment of Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.
  • 46a-58. (Formerly 53-34). Deprivation of rights. Desecration of property. Cross burning. Penalty.
  • 46a-60. Discriminatory employment practices prohibited.
  • 46a-71. Discriminatory practices by state agencies prohibited.
  • 46a-81a-46a-81r Sexual orientation discrimination prohibited.
  • 46a-82. Complaint: Filing.
  • 46a-100. Discriminatory practice. Cause of action upon release from commission.
Crime Victims Discrimination
  • 54-85d. Crime victims; Employment discrimination prohibited.
Indian Tribes - Employment Rights Code
Employment Rights Code. Hazardous substances in employment
  • 31-40g. Employers using or producing hazardous substances to reproductive systems.
  • 31-40h. Prohibition of sterilization as condition of employment.
Breastfeeding Discrimination
  • 31-40w. Public and private employment; Breastfeeding rights; Discrimination prohibited.

Required Training of Connecticut Supervisors Regarding Sexual Harassment

Sec. 46a-54. (Formerly Sec. 31-125). Commission powers. The commission shall have the following powers and duties:

      (15) (A) To require an employer having three or more employees to post in a prominent and accessible location information concerning the illegality of sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment; and (B) to require an employer having fifty or more employees to provide two hours of training and education to all supervisory employees within one year of October 1, 1992, and to all new supervisory employees within six months of their assumption of a supervisory position, provided any employer who has provided such training and education to any such employees after October 1, 1991, shall not be required to provide such training and education a second time. Such training and education shall include information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment. As used in this subdivision, "sexual harassment" shall have the same meaning as set forth in subdivision (8) of subsection (a) of section 46a-60, and "employer" shall include the General Assembly;

Sec. 46a-54-204. Posting and requirements for employers having fifty or more employees training

(a) An employer having fifty (50) or more employees shall comply with the posting requirements set forth in sections 46a-54-200 through 46a-54-207, inclusive.

(b) An employer having fifty (50) or more employees must also provide two hours of training and education to all supervisory employees of employees in the State of Connecticut no later than October 1, 1993 and to all new supervisory employees of employees in the State of Connecticut within six months of their assumption of a supervisory position. Nothing in these regulations shall prohibit an employer from providing more than two hours of training and education.

(c) Such training and education shall be conducted in a classroom-like setting, using clear and understandable language and in a format that allows participants to ask questions and receive answers. Audio, video and other teaching aides may be utilized to increase comprehension or to otherwise enhance the training process.

(1) The content of the training shall include the following:

A) Describing all federal and state statutory provisions prohibiting sexual harassment in the work place with which the employer is required to comply, including, but not limited to, the Connecticut discriminatory employment practices statute (section 46a-60 of the Connecticut General Statutes) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (42 U.S.C. section 2000e, and following sections);

(B) Defining sexual harassment as explicitly set forth in subdivision (8) of subsection (a) of section 46a-60 of the Connecticut General Statutes and as distinguished from other forms of illegal harassment prohibited by subsection (a) of section 46a- 60 of the Connecticut General Statutes and section 3 of Public Act 91-58;

(C) Discussing 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;

(D) Describing the remedies available in sexual harassment cases, including, but not limited to, cease and desist orders; hiring, promotion or reinstatement; compensatory damages and back pay;

(E) Advising employees that individuals who commit acts of sexual harassment may be subject to both civil and criminal penalties; and

(F) Discussing strategies to prevent sexual harassment in the work place.

(2) While not exclusive, the training may also include, but is not limited to, the following elements:

(A) Informing training 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;

(B) Conducting experiential exercises such as role playing, coed group discussions and behavior modeling to facilitate understanding of what constitutes sexual harassment and how to prevent it;

(C) Teachingtheimportanceofinterpersonalskillssuchaslisteningandbringing participants to understand what a person who is sexually harassed may be experiencing;

(D) 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 work place due to interpersonal conflicts, poor performance, absentee- ism, turnover and grievances;

(E) 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 person- ally—have been held liable when it is shown that they knew or should have known of the harassment;

(F) Explaining the employers’ 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

(G) 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.

(d) While not required by these regulations, the Commission encourages an employer having fifty (50) or more employees to provide an update of legal interpretations and related developments concerning sexual harassment to supervisory personnel once every three (3) years.

(Effective February 24, 1993)

Sec. 46a-54-205. Effect of prior training

An employer is not required to train supervisory personnel who have received training after October 1, 1991 that:

(1) substantially complies with the required content of the training set forth in subsection (c) (1) of section 46a-54-204; and

(2) was provided in a classroom setting and lasted at least two hours. (Effective February 24, 1993)

Sec. 46a-54-206. Trainers

An employer required to provide training by these regulations may utilize individuals employed by the employer or other persons who agree to provide the required training, with or without reimbursement.

(Effective February 24, 1993)

Sec. 46a-54-207. Recordkeeping

(a) The Commission encourages each employer required to conduct training pursuant to Public Act 92-85 to maintain records concerning all training provided.

(b) Such records shall include, but are not limited to:

(1) documents sufficient to show the content of the training given, such as the curriculum;

(2) the names, addresses and qualifications of the personnel conducting the training;

(3) the names and titles of the personnel trained and the date or dates that each individual was trained;

(c) The Commission encourages employers to maintain any such records for a minimum of one year, of if a discriminatory practice complaint is filed involving personnel trained, until such time as such complaint is finally resolved.

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