“The Time’s Up Act”…Connecticut’s continuing effort to combat Sexual Assault & Harassment in the workplace

by | Mar 2, 2021

Time’s Up Act – History

Connecticut has historically been at the forefront of promoting employee rights in the workplace.
After establishing the first Civil Rights Agency in the United States in 1947; “The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities” (CHRO), great strides were made to prevent workplace discrimination and ensure safety and equal protection for employees, but there was much work left to be done.

After a tsunami of sexual assault & harassment cases flooded the news & courts in recent years, the Connecticut Legislature took significant steps to stem the tide on July 18, 2019 by enacting the “Time’s Up Act,” Public Act 19-16 formally know as “An Act combatting Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment.”

Without question, these high-profile cases involving public figures like Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby & Roger Ailes, in conjunction with the #MeToo movement & The Time’s Up Foundation, raised awareness to the ongoing dangers of sexual assault and harassment and helped drive current legislative reforms.     

Time’s Up Act – Training Requirements

Prior to the enactment of the Time’s Up Act on October 1, 2019, Connecticut only required two hours of sexual harassment training for supervisors in companies of 50 or more employees. 

After passage of the Act, training requirements were expanded to include all employers with three or more employees to provide two hours of sexual harassment training to all employees every 10 years.

Initially, Employers had until October 1, 2020 to provide training to employees hired before October 1, 2019 and 6 months to provide training to new employees hired thereafter.

However, due to COVID-19, Connecticut officials pushed out the training deadlines to February 2021 with additional extensions as warranted by the health crisis.

Further, sexual harassment training is now required for all supervisory employees within six months of hire, regardless of the size of the Employer. 

Both supervisory and non-supervisory employees, may carry the training with them to new jobs within Connecticut to meet the 10-year certification requirement.

The “Time’s Up Act” also requires Connecticut Employers to:

  1. Prominently display the State law regulating Sexual Harassment in the Workplace.
  2. Forward Company sexual harassment policies to all employees via electronic mail or other written means within three months of hire.
  3. Provide all employees with a link to the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities (CHRO) website regarding Sexual Harassment in the workplace and available remedies.
  4.   Provide 2 hours of interactive training…not simply a multiple-choice web-based quiz.
  5. Extends the deadline from 180 days to 300 days to file a Charge for Discrimination or Retaliation based on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace.

Unfortunately, many Employers are not yet aware of the new Sexual Harassment regulations in Connecticut pursuant to the “Time’s Up Act.”

Not surprisingly, our current health crisis has taken center stage.  However, as COVID-19 gradually abates through mitigation efforts, the workplace should return to some measure of pre-COVID stability and the CHRO will begin enforcement of the Time’s Up Act.

Law Offices Of Attorney J.r. Heyel – Here To Help With Time’s Up Act Training & Compliance

Based in Bethel, Connecticut, our Law Firm, “Law offices of Attorney J.R. Heyel,” is already working with Connecticut businesses, providing sexual harassment training and compliance seminars in accordance with the Time’s Up Act.

As an Employment Attorney and business Professor at the University of New Haven, Attorney Heyel is ideally situated and prepared to provide competent guidance to meet State sexual harassment training mandates.

We actively coach our business clients to exceed the State Sexual harassment training requirements whenever possible.  For instance, we strongly suggest that employers foster and facilitate active learning environments, offering ongoing sexual harassment and related workplace safety training every 3-5 years rather than the 10-year increment currently required in the Time’s Up Act.   Workplace safety is always paramount and stressed during training exercises and strategies discussed on how to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.

While penalties for failing to adhere to the Time’s Up Act can be severe, training typically takes little more than 2 hours to complete and is a cost-effective way to keep employees safe, comply with State regulations and positively affect a businesses bottom line by reducing turnover, increasing productivity and promoting a positive and socially responsible public image.  

Without a shadow of a doubt, it’s time to seriously address sexual assault & harassment in the workplace.  “The changes we are witnessing are being driven by a mighty chorus that is finally saying, Time’s up!” Ashley Judd – Time’s Up Foundation member  

For further information and/or to schedule a consultation or sexual harassment training with Attorney Heyel, please visit:  www.YourEmploymentRights.com.

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