Thanksgiving is now in the rear view mirror. Just a month to go until we turn the page to 2021.

But before that happens, there are a few things left to check off your to do list for 2020.

Let’s get to it.

  1. Register for Paid Leave Program – Conneticut requires every employer to register

With little fanfare, the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities updated its website to note that it was giving a blanket 90 day extension of time for all employers to complete the sexual harassment prevention training.

Previously, that deadline was set for October 1, 2020. While it was granting a 90 day extension of time

13 years ago this week, I started this blog. But rather than dwell on another anniversary (and six months since working from home), I’d rather spend the time hitting a few (ok, 13) items in employment law because have been quite a few developments.

  1. Governor Lamont issued new Executive Orders this week amending the travel

There’s just a few weeks to go (absent an extension) for employers to get their employees trained on sexual harassment prevention.  October 1, 2020 will be here before you know it.

I’ve talked about it in prior posts so there should be no surprise.

And yet, with the pandemic, it’s easy to see how this

The state rolled out a new website for the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities during this pandemic. As someone who navigated the old site for years, I’m not yet a fan.

One reason? It’s hard to find news and some helpful items are buried.

For example, the CHRO now automatically lists the “Most Popular”

The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities recently announced that it will, upon request, extend the deadline for employers to provide sexual harassment prevention training by 90 days for new employees.

The deadline to complete such training is six months after their start date, absent an extension.

But employers should beware; the announcement has three

Just wrapped up a trial so hoping to get these blog posts with a little more frequency.

On October 1, 2019, the new training requirements on sexual harassment prevention became effective. I’ve recapped them before here in my “Definitive Employer Guide to Connecticut’s New Anti-Sexual Harassment Law” post from June.

I noted then that all

As the dust continues to settle from the General Assembly, bills that didn’t get a lot of press beforehand are continuing to come into the light.

One of them is new Public Act 19-95, which was just signed by Governor Lamont yesterday.

The bill treats being a member of the “Civil Air Patrol”

At the stroke of midnight last night, the 2019 General Assembly came to a close.

I think it’s fair to say that 2019 will go down in history not for the number of bills impacting employers, but for the breadth of the few that passed.

I’ve recapped the bills in some prior posts, but here’s

If you’re a Connecticut employer, new requirements regarding training and posting — as well as changes to the underlying anti-discrimination law — should be a must-read.

On Tuesday, June 4, 2019, the General Assembly passed a series of revisions to Senate Bill 3, which itself passed over the weekend. Together, these series of changes (S.B. 1111 and S.B. 3) will impact employers of all sizes and cases at the CHRO. 

In essence, you had a bill that was amended after it already passed. Rather than get into what was in the original bill vs. final bill, I thought it might be helpful just to recap what is in the final version of the bills, as combined.

Governor Lamont is expected to sign these bills in the next week or so.

To be clear, this recap should not be a substitute for legal advice and this recap only addresses some of the most relevant private employer provisions; there’s some provisions in there regarding EEO officers for state agencies that are beyond the scope of this recap. Credit should also be given to the state’s OLR Bill Analysis as well. 

TRAINING

Currently, employers with at least 50 employees are required to give their supervisors two hours of training on state and federal sexual harassment laws and remedies.

The new law will require employers of all sizes to give training to supervisors by October 1, 2020 (or within six months of their assumption of supervisory duties, after that time).

For employers with 3 or more employees, the training must also be given to all other employees also by October 1, 2020 (or within six months of hire, after that time.)

In both instances, the training must be updated every ten years by employers, though it doesn’t seem to be the same two hours — just a “supplemental” update.  Also, any employee (including supervisor) trained since October 1, 2018 is exempt from being “retrained” a second time.

The bill requires CHRO to develop a free online training video or other interactive method. If that’s done on time, employers will have to give the training within six months of an employee’s start date.

If employers don’t provide training, it will now be a “discriminatory practice” that may allow employees to bring an action in the CHRO (or court).  The fine for failing to provide training will be $750.

NOTICES TO EMPLOYEES

The new law (piggybacking on existing law which requires a notice be posted regarding sexual harassment) will require employers of three or more employees to send a copy of this to employees via e-mail within 3 months of hire — so long as the employee has an e-mail address (company-provided or personal).  The subject line should be titled “Sexual Harassment Policy” or words very similar to that effect.  If the employer doesn’t give employees an e-mail address, the information must be included on its website.  If the CHRO develops something on their own, the employer can just provide this link.

The fine for failing to do so will be $750 as well.

CORRECTIVE ACTION IN SEXUAL HARASSMENT CLAIMS

When an employer takes prompt remedial action in response to a claim of sexual harassment, the new law requires that the employer can only modify the target’s condition of employment upon agreement in writing from the employee.  That means, transferring an employee to a different department can only be done upon written consent.

BUT, even if the employer did not obtain the written consent, the bill still allows the CHRO to find that the employer’s corrective action was reasonable and not “to the detriment” to the complainant, based on the evidence.

TIMEFRAME FOR FILING DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT CLAIMS
Continue Reading The Definitive Employer Guide to Connecticut’s New Anti-Sexual Harassment Law