While employers certainly have enough to think about as they continue to navigate myriad challenges during the current public health crisis, they can’t forget about continuing legal obligations unrelated to COVID-19. Add to that checklist (if it wasn’t there already), compliance with new sexual harassment prevention training requirements under Connecticut’s Times Up Act, which became effective October 1, 2019.
As a refresher, previously employers with 50 or more employees were required to provide two hours of training and education to their supervisors regarding sexual harassment. Under the new law, all employers are required to train their supervisory personnel by October 1, 2020. New supervisory employees or existing employees who assume a supervisory position after that date must be trained within six months. The law also requires, applicable to employers with three or more employees, training of all non-supervisory personnel by October 1, 2020 or within six months of hire.
To date, the CHRO has not granted any extension with regard to training existing employees hired prior to October 1, 2019 and the October 1, 2020 training deadline must still be met unless the employee received training after October 1, 2018, in which case the employer does not need to repeat training outside of supplemental training required every ten years.
There is, however, a brief reprieve for some employers with regard to employees hired after October 1, 2019. In those cases, employers can receive a 90-day extension to complete the training requirement if the employer demonstrates it was unable to complete the training requirement for those affected employees due to COVID-19 related restrictions, such as lack of access to required technology, illness of the employee, or other unforeseeable circumstances. Requests should be directed to CHRO.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The labor and employment attorneys at Berchem Moses are available to conduct virtual training sessions to help employers meet their sexual harassment training obligations. Please contact us and let us know how we can assist you with training and all your labor and employment needs during this difficult time.