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June 18 will mark two years since Governor Ned Lamont expanded and strengthened Connecticut’s laws against workplace sexual harassment by signing the “Time’s Up Act.” Passed in response to the #MeToo movement, the law imposes mandates on employers to provide extensive sexual harassment training and to communicate information to employees about their legal rights. The law also enhances the remedies available to employees claiming to be victims of harassment.
Under the Time’s Up Act, all employers with three or more employees are now required to provide sexual harassment training to every employee. Under prior law, only businesses with 50 or more employees were required to provide such training and only to supervisory-level employees. Employers covered by the new law must provide another round of training at least once every 10 years.
The act also changed the way employees are entitled to receive information from the employer about the illegality of sexual harassment and the protections available to victims. Companies with three or more employees must now actively send a copy of this information to their employees within three months of hiring. Under prior law, companies merely had to post a notice regarding sexual harassment somewhere in the office, such as on an office bulletin board. Further, the act provides for a fine of up to $1,000 for an employer that fails to properly distribute and post the sexual harassment notice.
The Time’s Up Act provides greater protections to employees alleging sexual harassment and various other types of job discrimination. Employees now have 300 days to file a complaint with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights (CHRO). Before the act, the deadline was 180 days. When an employee makes a sexual harassment claim, the employer cannot alter that employee’s work schedule, work location or work arrangements without getting the employee’s written consent.
The act also increases a harassment victim’s potential compensation. Employees who prevail on a complaint with the CHRO can now be awarded attorney’s fees. Employees who file a lawsuit and prevail in court can also be awarded punitive damages.
As lawyers who frequently represent employees in sexual harassment cases, discrimination claims and other employment law issues, we are very familiar with the Time’s Up Act and how it can be utilized to protect workers from sexual harassment and to vindicate the rights of victims.
If you believe you have been sexually harassed or discriminated against at work, the lawyers of Gesmonde, Pietrosimone & Sgrignari, L.L.C. are here to help. Call 203-745-0942 or contact us online to arrange a consultation with a lawyer at our Hamden or East Haven offices, or via a video conference.
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Gesmonde, Pietrosimone & Sgrignari, L.L.C. is located in Hamden, CT and serves clients in and around North Haven, Hamden, Waterbury, Bethany, Milford, Wallingford, Prospect, Woodbridge, Northford, Madison, Beacon Falls, Branford, Cheshire, North Branford, East Haven, Naugatuck, Meriden, Ansonia and New Haven County.
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