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State Senator

Mae Flexer

Representing Brooklyn, Canterbury, Killingly, Mansfield, Putnam, Scotland, Thompson & Windham

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Flexer Leads Senate Passage of Time’s Up Act Bill Overhauls Connecticut’s Sexual Harassment Laws

Fulfilling a promise the caucus made at the beginning of the General Assembly’s legislative session, the Senate Democrats today declared “time’s up” on sexual harassment and sexual assault and led passage (31-5) of the Time’s Up Act, a legislative package that includes a massive overhaul of Connecticut’s sexual harassment and sexual assault laws.

Senate Bill 132 passed the Senate at 4:37 a.m. Friday after a three-hour debate during which Republicans attempted to tack on an amendment that would have weakened current laws, as well as the proposed bill. That amendment failed on an 18-18 party-line vote.

“Because of the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements, victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault across the country are speaking out and seeking justice like we’ve never seen before. In Connecticut alone, we saw a 37 percent increase in filed sexual harassment complaints in the last three months of 2017 compared to the same time the year before,” Senator Mae Flexer (D-Danielson) said. “It’s important that we who are elected to represent the public are responsive to this change that is finally happening by making sure we have the best policies to protect victims and help them seek justice. The Time’s Up Act does just that by eliminating the statute of limitations on certain sexual assault crimes, making sure everyone know their rights by requiring employers to offer training in the workplace, and expanding Connecticut’s mandated reporter laws. Today we are sending a clear message to anyone who has experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment that we hear you, we believe you, we stand with you, and we will protect you.”

The Senate Democrats’ Time’s Up Act reforms Connecticut’s sexual harassment and sexual assault laws and processes to create stronger protections for victims and to increase penalties for offenders by:

  • reforming the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) complaint process by extending deadlines to file complaints
  • strengthening and expanding Connecticut’s mandated reporter laws
  • eliminating statutes of limitation for all Class B and C felonies, and extending the statute of limitations for class D felonies from 5 to 25 years and for class A misdemeanors from 1 to 5 years.
  • increasing financial penalties for offenders
  • setting a universal process for investigations of harassment complaints against school administrators, and
  • requiring increased training and education of sexual harassment in Connecticut workplaces.

The Time’s Up Act will result in more than 70 percent of Connecticut employees having two hours of sexual harassment training, which can be fulfilled by accessing online video and materials provided by CHRO.

  • At employers with 20 or more employees, all employees will need to satisfy the training requirement.
  • At employers with less than 20 employees, only supervisors need to satisfy the training.
  • Beginning on October 1, 2018 and thereafter, employer must ensure training of new hires within 6 months of employment start date.
  • As of October 1, 2018, then current employees will have 1 year (October 1, 2019 deadline)
  • Employers do not have to hire outside consultants for the training, there is no need for HR to do training in house, there is minimal expense to employers.

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