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What is Sexual Harassment in Connecticut?
Unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sex acts are considered sexual harassment under Connecticut law if they occur when:
- Continued employment requires tolerating such conduct
- Rejection of harassing behavior results in lost advancement opportunity or termination from an employer
- Harassment significantly interferes with someone’s work performance or creates a hostile or intimidating work environment
The definition of sexual harassment in Connecticut also applies to anyone working for family members or working in a domestic service role.
In cases of harassment, gender is irrelevant. Sexual harassment can happen to anyone, regardless of the gender of either the perpetrator or the victim. Claims of sexual harassment must be taken seriously, regardless of the gender of the parties involved.
Harassment can occur at the workplace but may also occur in any other venue such as an offsite work party or retreat. It may also occur both in-person or online via email, text, or social media.
Connecticut Sexual Harassment Law Overview
Connecticut has led the charge on sexual harassment prevention, notably passing the following laws:
- Human Rights and Opportunity Act
- Connecticut Discriminatory Employment Practices Act
- Public Acts 19-16 and 19-93 (the Time’s Up Act)
These laws create protections against sexual harassment as well as establish sexual harassment training requirements for employers and employees within the state of Connecticut.
Reporting Connecticut Sexual Harassment Complaints
What are the steps you can take if you have been sexually harassed in the State of Connecticut? Let’s take a look at a strategy to safely address a harassment situation:
- If you feel the circumstances are safe, and you feel comfortable, directly as the harasser to stop the unwanted behavior.
Many times, simply confronting and addressing the individual directly is enough to bring an end to the issue. The offending individual may not realize they have crossed the line or simply may back off when they realize you are not going to tolerate such behavior.
- Take a look at your company policy to determine who you may report the incident to.
Most companies will have a formal harassment policy in place. Take a look at the policy to determine if there is a formal process you may follow. This process may involve submitting a complaint to a specific email inbox or a written complaint to a specific department. In general, it is highly advisable to submit any complaints in written form, retaining time-stamped copies of any written communications for your own records.
- Tell your supervisor, Human Resources Officer, or another management employee
After you have followed any formal complaint processes, notify your supervisor or HR representative of the complaint. If the individual committing the harassment is your direct supervisor, be prepared to report the issue to their supervisor or another manager or supervisor in the organization.
- If your position is unionized, tell your union representative
Once your complaint is submitted, supply your union representative with a copy of the written complaint. Follow any additional process your union may have in place.
- File a complaint with the CHRO or with the EEOC.
Under the Times Up Act, Connecticut employees who have been subjected to sexual harassment, have 300 days from the the date of the alleged incident to file a formal complaint with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO). See below for details for filing harassment complaints with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.
Filing a harassment complaint with CHRO
This complaint may be submitted in person at a CHRO office, via digital communication (email), letter, or phone call.
Complaints submitted in person at a CHRO office can use one of the four CHRO office locations. The location of the harassment will determine which office should be contacted for the complaint:
|For harassment that occured at:||Contact this office:|
|Capitol Region Office|
450 Columbus Boulevard
Hartford, CT 06103
Phone: (860) 566-7710
Fax: (860) 566-1997
TDD: (860) 566-7710
Email: [email protected]
|Eastern Region Office|
Norwich, CT 06360
Phone: (860) 886-5703
Fax: (860) 886-2550
TDD: (860) 886-5707
Email: [email protected]
|West Central Region Office|
Rowland State Gov. Center
55 West Main Street, Suite 210
Waterbury, CT 06702-2004
Phone: (203) 805-6530
Fax: (203) 805-6559
TDD: (203) 805-6579
Email: [email protected]
|Southwest Region Office|
350 Fairfield Avenue, 6th Floor
Bridgeport, CT 06604
Phone: (203) 579-6246
Fax: (203) 579-6950
TDD: (203) 579-6246
Email: [email protected]
After a harassment complaint is filed, an CHRO intake officer conducts an interview and records the alleged victim’s sworn statement. Within 60 days from the date the statement is received, the Commission must conduct a case assessment review of the harassment complaint.
Harassment Resources in the State of Connecticut
In addition to filing a complaint with the CHRO and possibly the EEOC, these resources may be useful for victims of sexual harassment in the State of Connecticut:
Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF)
It is important to note both men and women can contact the CWEALF for assistance. CWEALF is a non-profit organization that provides legal advocacy and education resources, community education, and leadership initiatives.
The CWEALF can be contacted via their online form or at:
Phone: (860) 524-0601 | Toll Free: 1-800-479-2949
Monday through Thursday: 9am – 2pm, Friday: 9am – 1pm
Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence
The Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence is a statewide coalition of programs providers which provide advocacy, prevention, and intervention services in the fight to end sexual violence.
Individual service providers available in Connecticut include:
1111 Summer Street, Suite 202
Stamford, CT 06901
29 Central Avenue, P.O. Box 1503
Waterbury, CT 06721
2 West Street, Danbury, CT 06810
70 West River Street, Milford, CT 06460
179 Water Street, Torrington, CT 06790
753 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06604
Willimantic Office: 860-456-3595
P.O. Box 24, 90 South Park Street, Willimantic, CT 06226
New London Office: 860-442-0604
78 Howard Street, 2nd Floor, New London, CT 06320
Meriden Office: 203-235-9297
169 Colony Street, Meriden, CT 06451
New Haven Office: 203-235-9297
142 Temple Street – Suite 206, New Haven, CT 06510
Guilford Office: By appointment only
705 Boston Post Road Suite 3C, Guilford, CT 06437
Middletown Office: By appointment only
100 Riverview Center – Suite 308, Middletown, CT 06475
New Britain Office: 860-225-4681
19 Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051
75 Charter Oak Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106
Obtaining a Restraining Order in the State of Connecticut
For situations involving ongoing harassment and safety concerns, the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch provides information regarding how to file for a restraining order.
Victims may reach out to the statewide hotline for domestic abuse for further resources and information:
Additionally, the State maintains an Office of Victim Services that provides additional services and information.