Connecticut Employment Law Blog Insight on Labor & Employment Developments for Connecticut Businesses

Lost in a Maze of Regulations? One Correct Path to Follow — Harassment Training

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance

One of the great local treats in Connecticut this time of year is a corn maze. My favorite for the last few years is the one created by Lyman Orchards in Middlefield, CT.  (And while you’re there, don’t miss picking a few apples or getting a fresh apple pie).

Mazes aren’t anything new. Employment lawyers and human resources staff, nowadays, have to go through seemingly endless mazes of laws and regulations.  It can be difficult to find your way out.  

But hope is not lost. Indeed, even at Lyman Orchards, there were guides and clues to help you find your way. In that same fashion, hopefully this post can serve a similar function.

Connecticut employers have particular requirements for to provide sexual harassment training for some of the employees (and you should read them in full here and seek legal guidance if you need it). Here’s some of the basics:

  • Only employers with 50 or more employees fall within the scope of the regulation.
  • For such employers,  two or more hours of training and education to all supervisor employees within 6 months of their assumption of such a role (whether through a hire or promotion).  
  • That training has to be conducted in a classroom-like setting (though electronic delivery has also been approved in some circumstances), using "clear and understandable language and in a format that allows participants to ask questions and receive answers."
  • The training must include:
    • Describing the federal and state statutory provisions prohibiting sexual harassment in the work place with which the employer is required to comply
    • Defining sexual harassment as defined by the law and distinguishing it from other forms of harassment
    • Discussing the types of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment under the law
    • Describing the remedies available in sexual harassment cases
    • Advising employees that individuals who commit acts of sexual harassment may be subject to both civil and criminal penalties; and
    • Discussing strategies to prevent sexual harassment in the work place. 

The regulations provide that additional topics or approaches may be done, but emphasizes that they are optional.

Similarly, the regulations suggest that employers of 50 or more employees provide an "upgrade" of the information every three (3) years.

Lawfirms and experienced HR consultants have long been providing this service so it should not be difficult to find someone to assist. But this is a fairly easy regulation to abide by.  Note that employers under 50 merely have posting requirements, though nothing prevents the employer from conducting the training anyways.

One practical suggestion: Conduct trainings in late-April and late-October in regular intervals. That should cover new supervisory employees in a timely fashion and reduce the number of people likely to be on vacation.  

And this will be one maze of regulations that you can find your way out of.