Connecticut’s “Time’s Up Act”: What You Need to Know
Author Name: TrainingABC
Posted: 07-25-2019 11:17 PM
Synopsis: Recently, Connecticut joined several other states across the country in passing legislation that shores up protections in the workplace. Officially called “An Act Combatting Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment” but dubbed the “Time’s Up Act,” the Act imposes several new requirements on Connecticut businesses of all sizes.
Whether you are a manager at a small or large business in Connecticut, it is important to review the new law and ensure that you comply—particularly with the Act’s new sexual harassment training requirements. Doing so will avoid severe penalties and will improve morale within your office.
An Overview of the Time’s Up Act
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed the Time’s Up Act on June 18, 2019. The Act was passed in response to the growing #MeToo movement and sexual harassment scandals occurring throughout the nation.
Generally speaking, the legislation has four distinct parts. First, the Time’s Up Act expands sexual harassment training requirements. Organizations of all sizes must provide sexual harassment training to supervisors by October 1, 2020 (or within six months of their assumption of supervisory duties after October 1, 2020, as long as the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (“CHRO”) develops and makes available training materials in accordance with this law). If you manage or work for an organization that has at least three employees, your organization must provide education and training on sexual harassment to all employees. This training must be at least two hours and it must be provided by October 1, 2020. If employers have already provided this training to employees after October 1, 2018, they do not need to provide it a second time. Employers must provide supplemental training every 10 years. As for the training required, the Time’s Up Act states that such training must include information concerning federal and state statutory provisions on sexual harassment and remedies to those who believe that they are a victim of sexual harassment.
This is a major change from the prior law, which only required mandatory sexual harassment training if an organization had at least 50 workers. In addition, under the prior law, employers with at least three employers were required to post information—in a prominent, accessible location—on “the illegality of sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of harassment.” The Time’s Up Act goes one step further and requires employers to send that information to new employees no later than three months after an employee’s start date. Another copy needs to be sent by email to the employee’s company or personal email address. Further information about the notice requirements—including situations if employees don’t have work or personal email addresses—can be found here.
Besides these training and notice requirements, there are some additional requirements imposed by the Time’s Up Act. The Act extends the time to file a CHRO complaint alleging sexual harassment and other forms of employment discrimination. CHRO must also post a link on its website that discusses the illegality of sexual harassment and the potential remedies available to sexual harassment victims. As for potential legal action, the Act limits corrective action that an employer can take in response to sexual harassment claims, extends the statute of limitations for filing a discriminatory practice claim with the CHRO, and expands potential damages that are accessible through the CHRO.
A New Framework in Connecticut
Ultimately, the Time’s Up Act represents a new framework in Connecticut. It shifts the paradigm and provides significantly more protections for victims of sexual harassment. Along with this, the Act imposes new requirements on all businesses, whether you have more or less than three employees. To view the entire act, please click here.
Regardless of the size of your business, you must pay attention to this new Act. We encourage you to read the text to make sure that you are familiar with the basics. But along with this, don’t hesitate to speak with your in-house attorney or human resources team to ensure full compliance with the law.
It is better to be safe than sorry here. Rather than risk regulatory or scrutiny or potential fines, it is in your interest to examine your current practices and, if necessary, make substantial changes. By doing this, you can not only sufficiently comply with the Times Up Act, but you can create a positive, supportive working environment.