The CHRO — the state agency responsible for investigating discrimination complaints in Connecticut — is going to a time of profound change. But it is also going through a period of stagnation. Where and when things will settle down remains a good question.
Why is it stagnating? Well, the agency has been without Human Rights Referees to oversee public hearings since July 1st. As a result, any case that has been certified to a public hearing (namely, those employment complaints where “reasonable cause” has been found during the investigation) is in a holding pattern. At a bar association meeting last night, there was no update as to when this situation would be resolved and whether new referees will be appointed anytime soon.
Why the profound change? Because effective October 1st, all cases will be undergoing a new procedure, including early mandatory mediation. It is unclear whether the CHRO will implement these changes for current cases, though the indications from the bar association meeting last night was that they will try to do so where feasible. Public Act 11-237 contains all the changes.
I’ve previously recapped the changes here. But if you’re looking for more information, the CHRO will be holding an informational session on October 20th at 10 a.m. at the state capitol. You can download the flyer here.
In the meantime, if you’re an employer who has to deal with complaints at the CHRO, it’s time to brush up on your knowledge. It’s a whole new world starting October 1st.