In yesterday’s post, I talked about the basics of what is and is not “sexual harassment”.
Continuing the theme of going back to the basics, employers in the Constitution State have certain posting and training requirements that must be followed.
These requirements are found in the administrative regulations set up by the CHRO regarding sexual harassment prevention.
I first detailed these in a post WAY back in October 2007 (!) but they remain just as important today as ten years ago.
For posting: All employers who have 3 or more employees must provide notices that say sexual harassment is illegal and address what the remedies are for such harassment.
But here’s a free shortcut: The CHRO has prepared a model poster that complies with the statute and is free to download. You can do so here.
It’s a good time to remind employers too that employers should also update their “Discrimination is Illegal” poster also offered by the CHRO. The poster was updated in October and again, is free to download here.
For training: The training requirements only apply to employers who have 50 or more employees and apply only to supervisory employees.
Of course, this does not mean that employers who have less than 50 should NOT provide the training; indeed, offering the training can assist with a defense of a potential sexual harassment training.
Specifically, within 6 months of a new supervisor being hired or an employee being promoted to a supervisory position, the employee must receive at least two hours of training.
The format of the training should be conducted in a classroom-like setting, using clear and understandable language and in a format that allows participants to ask questions and receive answers.
The CHRO has indicated, in an informal opinion, that some e-learning training may satisfy this requirement. Regardless, the training must also include discussion of six discrete topics such as what the state and federal laws say, what types of conduct could be considered sexual harassment, and discussing strategies for preventing such harassment.
Those topics are:
- (A) Describing all federal and state statutory provisions prohibiting sexual harassment in the work place with which the employer is required to comply, including, but not limited to, the Connecticut discriminatory employment practices statute (section 46a-60 of the Connecticut General Statutes) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (42 U.S.C. section 2000e, and following sections)
- (B) Defining sexual harassment as explicitly set forth in subdivision (8) of subsection (a) of section 46a-60 of the Connecticut General Statutes and as distinguished from other forms of illegal harassment prohibited by subsection (a) of section 46a-60 of the Connecticut General Statutes and section 3 of Public Act 91-58;
- (C) Discussing the types of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment under the law, including the fact that the harasser or the victim of harassment may be either a man or a woman and that harassment can occur involving persons of the same or opposite sex;
- (D) Describing the remedies available in sexual harassment cases, including, but not limited to, cease and desist orders; hiring, promotion or reinstatement; compensatory damages and back pay;
- (E) Advising employees that individuals who commit acts of sexual harassment may be subject to both civil and criminal penalties; and
- (F) Discussing strategies to prevent sexual harassment in the work place.
Here the kicker: The regulations suggest (but do not mandate) that such training be updated for ALL supervisory employees every three years.
What does this mean? It means that if an employer wants to project an image that it has a strong policy against sexual harassment, it should consider following this advisory regulation to show that it is doing above and beyond what is required.
The regulations also suggest (but do not mandate) that records be kept of the training.
Again, it is a wise course of action to follow.
If you haven’t taken a look at your posting and training materials at your company, now is a good time to do so.