Effective October 1, 2019, Connecticut increased the minimum wage and implemented 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 employees within six (6) months of assuming supervisory duties.
  • Employers with three (3) or more employees will be required to provide sexual harassment prevention training to all employees by October 1, 2020, or within six (6) months of hire after Oct. 1, 2020. Sexual harassment prevention training 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 developed a free online sexual harassment prevention training module that employers may use to satisfy the sexual harassment prevention training requirements, although this training may not be appropriate or desirable for all employers. Many employers still feel it best to utilize live, in-person training for their workforces. We recommend consulting with employment counsel to determine the best approach to sexual harassment prevention training for your organization.
  • Failure to provide mandatory sexual harassment prevention training may lead to a discrimination charge and up to a $750 civil fine.
  • Employers must email their sexual harassment prevention policies to all employees if the employer provides the employees 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 regular sexual harassment prevention group training in its Hartford and New Haven offices from time to time. Experienced Murtha employment attorneys are also available to provide on-site sexual harassment prevention training. For more information, please contact Matthew Curtin at mcurtin@murthalaw.com or at 860.240.6065.

Minimum Wage Increase

Effective October 1, 2019, minimum wage increased $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