A sexual harassment lawsuit can ruin you and your company’s reputation, while also hurting innocent victims. Under state and federal laws, people have the right to go to work and earn a paycheck without having to experience sexual harassment. As an employer, you have a responsibility to keep those around you safe by maintaining a company culture that upholds healthy values and promotes respect between everyone. This responsibility is not only important for your employees, but for your company.
Before October 2019, all Connecticut employers with more than 50 people working under them had to supply mandatory anti-sexual harassment training to each employee. Now, all employers of any size are subject to an anti-sexual harassment training regime.
Employers with three or more employees must provide training to non-supervisory employees, and all other employees of any size have to provide training to supervisory employees.
Under the new legislation – dubbed the “Time’s up” law – executives from the Connecticut Human Rights Office (CHRO) are able to come into your place of business any time during normal working hours and make sure you are complying with regulations. This process may include going through business documents, records, and verifying their anti-sexual harassment training and protocols.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 also prohibits sexual harassment under Title VII. Under Title VII, sexual harassment is considered a form of discrimination. Additionally, the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (CFEPA) prohibits sexual harassment of employees and interns. This state-level law is now backed up by the aforementioned “Time’s Up” law.
The CFEPA defines the crime of sexual harassment as: “any unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors or any conduct of a sexual nature when:”
- submission to or rejection of the conduct is made as a term or condition of an individual’s employment
- submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as a basis of employment decisions affecting the individual.
- the conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
In plain English, there are two main types of sexual harassment allegations to be watched for:
- Hostile work environment
- Quid pro quo
Hostile work environment sexual harassment is when someone is subject to some type of sexually hostile behavior or environment. This can be:
- Unwanted touching, sexual advances, or rape
- Unwanted nudity or pornographic images
- Rude, crude comments.
Quid pro-quo usually occurs when someone of a higher rank in the organization pressures someone lower down into sexual relations in exchange for a job benefit like a pay raise or promotion.
Do you need help with a sexual harassment allegation?
If you’re in Connecticut, know that experienced sexual harassment lawyers are ready to assist you from Abington to Hartford. Don’t hesitate to get in touch today.