May 4, 2018

Senate Democrats Lead Passage of Time’s Up Act Overhauling 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.

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.

“Senate Democrats proposed the Time’s Up Act because everyone should be able to go and earn a living free from fear that they will be subject to sexual harassment,”said Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven). “As we stand the midst of a national reckoning over sexual assault and sexual harassment, this overhaul of Connecticut laws will go a long way to providing critical protections for Connecticut residents.”

“We must eliminate inappropriate behavior and harassment in the workplace,” said Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk). “Once law, the Time’s Up Act will establish Connecticut a national leader when it comes to stamping out sexual assault and harassment.”

“Tonight Connecticut Democrats declared that ‘Time’s Up’ for companies that turn a blind eye to sexual harassment in the workplace. Time’s up for men in positions of power who think they can get away with sexual harassment against their female colleagues. Time’s up for people who blame and shame sexual assault victims who speak out against their attackers,” Senator Marilyn Moore (D-Bridgeport) said. “Victims will be heard, companies must protect them, and if they don’t there will be consequences. Every woman and man deserves to work in an environment free from harassment and fear of retaliation. I am proud to stand up for victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault and vote in favor of this bill.”

“How many stories have we heard over the past year, all across America, of women being sexually harassed or assaulted in the workplace? The floodgates have opened, and we are compelled to act,” said Senator Beth Bye (D-West Hartford). “The Time’s Up bill is action—real action—to address the scourge of sexual harassment in American workplaces. We may not end it, but we will reduce it, and here in Connecticut we are sending a message that we take this problem seriously and we will not tolerate it.”

“I have heard the stories of many of the survivors of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. It’s heartbreaking to hear about this unacceptable behavior, which takes place in too many places,” said Senator Terry Gerratana (D-New Britain). “Passing the Time’s Up Act is the right thing to protect women in Connecticut. Today we fulfilled a promise that we all made as Senate Democrats to strengthen our laws and combat this crisis.”

“Connecticut Democrats have made it our mission to combat sexual assault and sexual harassment in the workplace by strengthening our workplace training policies and making it easier for victims to seek justice,” said Senator Paul Doyle (D-Wethersfield). “I want to express my deepest appreciation to the courageous victims who stepped forward and shared their stories before the Judiciary Committee. Your voices made passage of this legislation possible.”

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.