As described in Section 46a-54-200 of the Connecticut Sexual Harassment Posting and Training Regulations, sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advances or requests or any conduct of sexual nature. In Connecticut, this specific law has a posting requirement for employers having three or more employees that includes where to post and when to post. Once you reach fifty or more employees, there are new posting and training requirements as well as recordkeeping.
If you have three or more employees, a notice should be posted that includes the definition and examples of sexual harassment. It might include that sexual harassment is prohibited, and some of the remedies available are cease and desist orders, back pay, compensatory damages, and hiring, promotion, or reinstatement. Anyone who commits sexual harassment may be subject to civil or criminal penalties. It's also recommended, but not required, that the poster include a statement concerning the policies and procedures regarding sexual harassment. You may also include a contact person who an employee can report sexual harassment to, as well as the penalties if this act is committed.
All notices must be in a noticeable and accessible locations on the workplace premises. If the employer notices that any poster has been removed, destroyed, or defaced, it must be replaced promptly. These notices must be posted as soon as possible.
In sections 46a-54-200 through 46a-54-207, an employer in Connecticut that has fifty or more employees must include two hours of training and education to all employees. This includes all employees as well as supervisors. Nothing prohibits an employer from providing more than two hours of training and education if they so choose. These trainings must be conducted in a classroom-like setting, using understandable language that everyone will understand, and a format that allows participants to ask questions and receive answers.
The content of the training must include all federal and state regulations prohibiting sexual harassment in the work place. The training should also define sexual harassment, whether from a man or woman, as clearly as possible to avoid confusion. Include examples so everyone understands. Make sure everyone knows the consequences of committing this act, and describe what course of action the employer shall take.
The training might also include that all complaints of sexual harassment must be taken seriously, and that all complaints are confidential except to those with a need to know. Remember to highlight the types of disciplinary actions that can be taken against anyone who has sexually harassed anyone in the workplace. The employer might also suggest strategies to prevent sexual harassment, as well as preventive strategies to avoid the negative effects sexual harassment can have on the victim and the workplace.
Even though it is not required, the Commission encourages all employers to provide an update concerning sexual harassment complaints every three years. An employer may utilize individuals employed or other persons who have agreed to provide the required training, whether that is with or without compensation.
Employees must be trained every 10 years, although it is recommended that a refresher course be provided every three years. All supervisors must be trained within a 6 month period of assuming a supervisory role. This 6 month period also applies to anyone hired after October 1st, 2019.
Although Connecticut's regulations around sexual harassment are the most lenient compared to other states, this does not mean you should take a relaxed approach to it. There are potential fines if you fail to comply with Connecticut's sexual harassment guidelines, as well as lost productivity and lower employee morale and profits due to increasing sexual harassment claims.
An employer is encouraged by the Commission in Connecticut to maintain records of all training. This might include the curriculum used to teach the participants, names and addresses of whomever conducted the training, or even the names and titles of everyone who was trained, as well as dates. They also encourage that these records be maintained for a minimum of one year, or until a discriminatory practice complaint involving anyone trained is filed and resolved.
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