Working to Combat Sexual Harassment and Assault

June 4, 2019

We have an obligation to make sure that everyone feels safe and secure in the workplace, free of sexual harassment and sexual assault.
 
The legislature has taken significant steps to guarantee a safe workplace, but more must be done to discourage and thwart unwanted advances. To the people who have not gotten the message yet that Connecticut will not tolerate offensive behavior in the workplace, I say your time is up.
 
Joining with my colleagues in the House, I have voted to pass Senate Bill 3, An Act Combatting Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment. Already passed by the Senate, the legislation now goes to the governor.
 
Also referred to as the Time’s Up bill, this legislation would increase certain sexual harassment penalties, extend the time limits people have to file lawsuits for sexual assault, allow more time for criminal prosecution of sexual assault and require more employer-sponsored sexual harassment training.

The legislation:

  • Expands requirements so that now employers of three or more employees must train all employees about sexual harassment laws and provide related information; previously, the law applied to employers of 50 or more; Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) shall make related training materials available
  • Expands the definition of “discriminatory practice” in the CHRO statutes to include, among other things, an employer’s failure to provide sexual harassment training or post certain notices as required
  • Allows employers to modify the conditions of an alleged harassment victim’s employment only with that person’s consent
  • Extends the time to file a CHRO complaint alleging employer discrimination, including sexual harassment
  • Allows courts to order punitive damages in discrimination cases released from CHRO jurisdiction
  • Extends the time to file a civil lawsuit related to sexual abuse or related conduct for people between the ages of 18 and 21 inclusive 

Eliminates the criminal statute of limitations for sexual assault crimes against minors and extends it for such crimes against adults