Some provisions of the latest version of Connecticut’s “Time’s Up Act” will go into effect October 1, and several changes brought by the new law will affect employers, including those with just a few employees.
The most notable changes include:
- Greatly expanding required sexual harassment training;
- Increasing the amount of time employees have to file discrimination complaints; and
- Allowing employees who prevail on discrimination claims to obtain their attorneys’ fees and punitive damages.
Under previous law, employers with three or more employees were required to provide sexual harassment training to their supervisory employees within six months of their taking a supervisory role. Under the new law, employers with three or more employees will have to provide such training to all employees. Employers with fewer than three employees will have to provide training to supervisors.
Under the new law, free training materials will be available on the state’s Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities’ (CHRO) website.
The law also nearly doubles the amount of time employees have from the date of the alleged discrimination to file a charge for many types of alleged discrimination. The window is going from 180 days to 300 days.
The new law also makes it easier for employees who prove their claims to obtain reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. Under the prior law, such fees couldn’t be awarded by the CHRO for state law discrimination claims but could be recovered in a lawsuit if one was filed after a CHRO proceeding.
For more information on the new Times’ Up Act, see the July issue of Connecticut Employment Law Letter.
Brendan N. Gooley is an attorney with Carlton Fields in Hartford. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.