Employers Beware: New Anti-Harassment and Discrimination Laws Take Effect Next Month

anti-harassmentConnecticut’s new, far-reaching employment law, known as the Time’s Up Act, takes effect on October 1, 2019. The Act imposes strict harassment training requirements on all employers, regardless of size. For those employers with 3 or more employees, the employer must provide – via email – a copy of the company’s anti-harassment policy, with an explanation of the remedies available to victims of harassment. Such employers must also provide two hours of harassment training to current employees by October 1, 2020, and for those employees hired on or after October 1, 2019, training must be provided within six months of hire. Even the smallest employers – those with fewer than 3 employees – must provide harassment training to supervisory employees by October 1, 2020, and must train new supervisors within six months of their hire. Failure to provide the required information and training can result in a $1,000.00 fine. In addition, the new law specifically authorizes representatives from the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) to enter an employer’s place of business in order to monitor and ensure compliance.

The new legislation also increases the types of damages that can be awarded to successful litigants making claims of employment discrimination, both at the CHRO and in court, and gives former employees more time to file such claims. It is crucial that Connecticut employers familiarize themselves with all of the new requirements.