COVID-19 (the coronavirus) has disrupted nearly every aspect of life in Connecticut. State and local agencies are rolling out policies to help individuals and businesses adapt to the pandemic. On April 8th, Connecticut regulators announced that employers would be granted a 90-day extension to comply with the new sexual harassment training requirements contained in the ‘Time’s Up’ law.
Though, to be clear, that extension will only apply to companies that cannot complete their requirements in the allotted time because of a coronavirus-related issue. Connecticut’s enhanced sexual harassment protections are still in place during the crisis. Below, our New Haven sexual harassment attorneys provide an overview of the most important provisions of the state’s Time’s Up law.
Three Things Employees Should Know About Connecticut’s Time’s Up Act
1. All Employers in Connecticut Must Provide Sexual Harassment Training
Connecticut’s ‘Time’s Up’ legislation dramatically strengthened the state’s anti-sexual harassment training requirements. As explained by the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, all employers must provide state-approved sexual harassment training to supervisory workers. Further, employers with at least three total employees must provide state-approved sexual harassment training to all workers.
Under state law, employees should be trained within three months of being hired. For employees hired prior to the fall of 2019, anti-sexual harassment training should have been completed by April 1st, 2020. While the deadline for anti-sexual harassment training for some employees may have already passed by, it has been extended for 90 days, but only if the employer can demonstrate good cause to justify an extension.
2. Once a Sexual Harassment Claim is Filed, Worker Must ‘Ok’ Change in Employment
For far too long, sexual harassment was taken seriously in the workplace. Not only was anti-sexual harassment training insufficient or non-existent, but victims frequently faced punishment for raising complaints or filing claims. The Time’s Up Act modified Connecticut state law to reduce the likelihood of unlawful retaliation. Once an employee makes a sexual harassment complaint, an employer is restricted from changing the terms and conditions of their employment—without obtaining written consent from the worker.
3. State-Level Discrimination Claim Deadline is Now 300 Days, Not 180 Days
Finally, the Time’s Up Act provides employees additional time to file a state-level discrimination claim. Workers now have 300 days to bring a discrimination claim under Connecticut law. Previously, state law required these claims to be filed within 180 days. Still, it is important to note that it is in the best interests of employees to take immediate action. If you or someone you know faced discrimination in the workplace in New Haven, consult with a Connecticut employment lawyer right away.
Call Our New Haven, CT Sexual Harassment Lawyer for Help
At Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, LLC, our Connecticut workplace rights lawyers are compassionate and diligent advocates for our clients. If you have questions about the Time’s Up Act and sexual harassment claims, we are ready to help. To request a completely confidential review of your claim, please contact our legal team today. We represent employees throughout New Haven County, including in Waterbury, Wallingford, West Haven, Meriden, Hamden, and Naugatuck. Call (860) 522-8888.