Satisfies Section 46a-54 (15) (B) and 46a-54-204 of the Connecticut General Statutes Training Requirements, which constitute the Time’s Up Act.
On October 1st, 1992, Connecticut became the second state to make sexual harassment training a mandatory requirement for employers. The first state to bring forth its own sexual harassment training laws was Maine in 1991, Connecticut (1992), and finally California in 2004. This section is for employers looking to increase their knowledge of the Connecticut sexual harassment training laws and requirements for employers in the State of Connecticut.
Effective October 1st, 2019, Connecticut updated their sexual harassment training law requirements that employers with Three or more employees provide sexual harassment training to all their employees. Connecticut General Assembly named these new laws the Time’s Up Act. California sexual harassment training law also requires similar requirements for employers with five or more employees, while the Maine statute states fifteen or more employees.
Connecticut law requires the training be provided for any person or employer who has a total of 3 or more employees, which would include partners, supervisory and non-supervisory employees in its employment within six months of their start date.
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Frequently Asked Questions – Connecticut Sexual Harassment Training
- What Types of Businesses Are Required to Provide Training?
- Which Employees Must Receive Training?
- How Often Should Training Occur?
- How Long Should the Training Last?
- Who Should Conduct the Training?
- What Should the Training Course Consist of?
- How Do Supervisors Ask Questions during E-learning Courses?
- What Type of Documentation Should the Employer Retain?
- What Are the Penalties for Not Providing Training?
Connecticut’s statute requires that all employers with 3 or more employees provide sexual harassment awareness training to all supervisors, managers and partners within 6 months of employment.
Connecticut’s statute unquestionably specifies all public and private employers with three or more employees. Our best practices recommendation is that Connecticut employers with employees working outside the State of Connecticut (i.e., the company is based in Connecticut but some employees may also work outside of the state), as well as out-of-state employees of the same organization, should make sure that all such employees are also counted when determining whether there is a need to conduct training. Where potential liability may exist, it is in the best interest of your organization to provide training to ensure compliance with Connecticut harassment laws.
Connecticut law requires all partners, supervisors, and employees receive sexual harassment awareness training within 6 months of commencement of employment. Connecticut’s statute specifies such training is an absolute requirement for all private and public employers, should they meet the requirement of having 3 or more employees.
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.
In addition, Connecticut law defines the duties of a supervisory employee as: “Any individual who has the authority to use his or her independent judgment, on behalf of and in the interest of the employer, to lay-off, hire, promote, recall, reward, suspend, direct and/or make recommendations for such actions”.
Under Connecticut law, the “training year” is defined as: “The period of time from the first of October in any calendar year through the 30th of September in the following calendar year.
Connecticut law also states employers must provide periodic supplemental training not less than every ten years. Not only will this assist employers in avoiding claims of negligence, but to also to reiterate the employer’s standing on the importance of workplace professionalism.
The statute specifically states a 2-hour minimum requirement for sexual harassment awareness training.
Our best practices recommendation is that training should be consistent with Federal law and similar laws in other states, such as California; therefore, we recommend the training module for general employees should be a minimum of two hours and the training module for supervisors and managers and partners last a minimum of two hours and cover harassment in the workplace.
Connecticut’s statute does not define the term “qualified trainers”, nor does it expand on the qualifications for developing a sexual harassment awareness training course.
Our best practices recommendation is that employers retain the services of a facilitator who possesses at least one or more of the following qualifications:
- Law school or college professors or instructors with twenty instruction hours or two or more years experience teaching employment law related to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
- A human resources professional or harassment prevention consultant with a minimum of two years practical experience designing harassment/discrimination prevention training, responding to harassment or discrimination complaints, conducting investigations of sexual harassment complaints, or advising employers on these issues
- An attorney with at least two years experience and whose practice includes employment law
Regardless of the training method, Connecticut sexual harassment training courses should cover Connecticut’s statutes and mandatory regulations related to sexual harassment in the workplace, as defined by state and Federal law. To ensure the attendees are engaged, attentive and focused on the training module, we also recommend interactive activities and scenarios, in order to test the attendees’ understanding of the subject matter. Some of those required subject areas include:
- Define sexual harassment as set forth in subdivision (8) of subsection (a) of section 46a-60 of the Connecticut General Statutes and as set apart from other forms of illegal workplace harassment prohibited by subsection (a) of section 46a-60 of the Connecticut General Statutes and section 3 of Public Act 91-58
- Strategies in order to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace
- Utilizing examples and a description of what types of behaviors constitute sexual harassing behavior
- Communicating the employer’s policy against sexual harassment and a description of protocol for reporting sexual harassment, as well as the types of disciplinary actions that will be taken against employees who have engaged in sexually harassing behavior
- The internal complaint process available to the employee, including remedies available to victims, including compensatory damages, promotion, back pay, cease and desist letters and even reinstatement;
- The legal recourse and complaint process available through the Connecticut Commission of Human Rights and Opportunities;
- Instructions on how to contact the Connecticut Commission of Human Rights and Opportunities
Connecticut’s statute specifically states: “As long as the employees are given the opportunity to ask questions and obtain answers in a reasonably prompt manner”, eLearning will satisfy this training requirement. According to Opinion Letter, dated 05/19/2003.
Should the mandatory training be conducted in a classroom setting, the statute states: “[Use] understandable, clear and concise language … in a setting which allows the attendees to ask questions and receive answers. Video, audio, and other instructional methods may also be incorporated in the live training session, to in order to strengthen the interactive training process.”
Connecticut’s statute does not contain specific regulations requiring employers to maintain records related to sexual harassment awareness training.
Our best practices recommendation: Employers should maintain records in the Human Resources Department in the employees’ personnel files. These records should references the names of the employees who received training, the dates and locations of the training, the types of training received, the company who conducted the training, the names of the facilitators and the materials re. It is also recommended that the employees also sign the employer’s policy against sexual harassment, verifying the details of the training and confirming they received and fully understand the training. These records should be retained during the entire period of employment for each and every employee.
Violation of Connecticut’s sexual harassment statute may result in an order of compliance issued by the State of Connecticut’s Human Rights and Opportunities Commission. In addition, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) can also be utilized by employees, which may result in civil and criminal penalties and/or convictions, including monetary compensation.
Are there any Additional Requirements?
Refer to Section 46a-54-201 of the Connecticut Statute for mandatory posting requirements for employers with 3 or more employees.