Starting tomorrow, October 1, 2019, Connecticut will increase the minimum wage and implement extensive revisions to existing sexual harassment laws. Below is a brief summary of the changes. As always, Murtha employment lawyers are available to discuss these new laws and how they may affect your organization.
Changes to Connecticut Sexual Harassment Laws
Connecticut’s “Time’s Up Act” takes effect October 1st, with several notable revisions to the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act:
- All employers, regardless of size, will be required to provide sexual harassment prevention training to supervisory employers within six (6) months of assuming supervisory duties.
- Employers with three (3) or more employees will be required to provide such training to all employees by October 1, 2020, or within six (6) months of hire after that time. All training, supervisory and non-supervisory, must be supplemented at least once every 10 years. Note that previously, Connecticut only required that employers with 50 or more employees provide such training, and solely for supervisory employees, so this is a big change for Connecticut employers.
- The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities is required to develop a free online sexual harassment prevention training module that employers may use to satisfy the training requirements. As of September 30, the training module is not available on the CHRO’s website.
- Failure to provide the requisite training is grounds for a discrimination charge and up to a $750 civil fine.
- Employers must email sexual harassment policies to employees if the employer provides the employee with an employer-sponsored email address, or if the employee has provided a personal email address. The subject line of the email should be “Sexual Harassment Policy” or something similar. If an employer doesn’t provide email addresses or doesn’t have employee personal email addresses, the policy should be posted on the employer’s website. Failure to comply subjects the employer up to a $750 civil fine.
- The timeframe for employees to file a discrimination or retaliation claim with the CHRO is extended from 180 days to 300 days. The 300 day deadline corresponds to the EEOC filing timeframe.
For employers looking for a way to comply with the new training requirements, Murtha employment attorneys will provide sexual harassment prevention training in Hartford on October 23rd, and in New Haven on October 24th. For more information and to register, please follow the hyperlinks or contact us.
Minimum Wage Increase
Effective October 1, 2019, minimum wage will increase $0.90 from $10.10 per hour to $11.00 per hour. The October 1st increase is the first in a series of five incremental increases that will eventually cap out at $15 per hour on June 1, 2023. Below is the series of increases Connecticut employers will realize over the course of the next four (4) years:
- $12.00 on September 1, 2020
- $13.00 on August 1, 2021
- $14.00 on July 1, 2022
- $15.00 on June 1, 2023