Cmply is reader-supported. We may be compensated if you purchase something through our site.
Workplace harassment laws in CT
The Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (CFEPA) prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace. Connecticut (CT) is one of several states that require sexual harassment training for all employers operating within the state. The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) administers the state law, which was defined by the Connecticut General Assembly within Public Acts 19-16 and 19-93 which together comprise the Time’s Up Act.
The Time’s Up Act applies to all employers that have three or more employees and requires that two hours of harassment training must be provided within six months of an employee’s hire date.
For employers with fewer than three employees, the State of Connecticut requires employers to provide two hours of training and education to all existing supervisory employees within six months of hiring new supervisory employees.
The Time’s Up Act also requires that employers provide each employee a copy of information regarding the illegality of sexual harassment and channels of remedy available to victims of sexual harassment.
How often do employers need to provide Sexual Harassment training in Connecticut?
In addition to meeting the initial training requirements, employers in Connecticut are required to provide periodic supplemental training at least every ten years, though a more frequent cadence is recommended.
Does Connecticut provide free sexual harassment training?
The Time’s Up Act required that the CHRO create and make available a free harassment training resource for employers. This online training course is built in a guided lesson format with supplemental videos made available via YouTube.
Upon finishing the course, employees will receive a certificate of completion with their name and date of completion. Additional certificates can be requested from the training start page.
Do Connecticut employers have to use the CHRO training?
No, Connecticut employers can use any training to satisfy the Time’s Up Act training requirements, as long as that training meets the CHRO-mandated requirements. The CHRO requirements state that the training must be at least two hours in length and be interactive in nature. The ‘interactive’ requirement indicates that participants should be able to ask questions and receive answers from either a training facilitator or by means of submitting questions after the training.
WiseDaily is one example that offers bite-sized training sessions to engage your employees regularly. This approach may be more effective at promoting a healthy, harassment-free culture than a single annual session that you force your staff to sit through.
Does Connecticut sexual harassment training have to be live?
The State requires that harassment training be delivered either via recorded video or online and must have an interactive element. However, the training does not need to be live.
What happens if an employer does not comply with Connecticut harassment training requirements?
Employers in Connecticut who fail to comply with the state harassment training requirements are subject to fines of up to $750. More importantly, an employer who fails to post the required harassment information and fails to provide the required harassment training may greatly increase their liability in the event an incident of harassment does occur within their workplace.
Where can employers find more resources for harassment training requirements for the State of Connecticut?
The CHRO page provides relevant information and links to the pertinent state legislation. The page also provides a link to the online training portal and related written materials. An English and Spanish version of the Connecticut sexual harassment prevention poster can also be found on the CHRO page.
Are employers required to display a sexual harassment information poster in the workplace?
Yes, per the requirements laid out in Public Acts 19-16 and 19-93 , employers are required to display the CHRO Sexual Harassment Prevention Poster in a “prominent and accessible location”. Employers who fail to display the CHRO harassment poster are subject to fines if found to be in violation of this requirement.
Additionally, the CHRO executive director has the right to assign a designated representative to enter the place of business, within normal business hours, and inspect the employer’s compliance with the requirements laid out in Public Acts 19-16 and 19-93.
Are employees who live in Connecticut but work for a company outside of Connecticut required to complete the state-mandated harassment training?
Yes. As long as the employer has three or more employees and any of those employees are based in the state of Connecticut, those Connecticut-based employees will be subject to the training requirements. For example, if a company has 50 employees and one of them is based in Connecticut, the lone employee in Connecticut is subject to the state training requirements.
How often do Connecticut employers need to provide harassment training?
Employers must provide harassment training at least every ten years. Providing harassment training more frequently than 10 years is advisable from both a culturally pragmatic and liability standpoint.
What ‘corrective action’ is allowed under Connecticut harassment laws?
If an employee has made a claim of sexual harassment, an employer may, only with written consent from the employee, accommodate or otherwise seek to alleviate the employee’s circumstances by assigning them to a different work schedule, work location, or taking other significant steps to change the employee’s work environment.
It is key that an employer understands that these changes can only be made with the employee’s consent and that the focus of the remediation must not inadvertently or intentionally punish the employee who has experienced harassment. To avoid running afoul of the anti-retaliation provisions of Connecticut state law, any change to the terms or conditions of the whistleblowing employee must be consented to in writing and must be in the employee’s best interest.