Substitute House Bill No. 5986

Public Act No. 99-180

An Act Concerning Diversity Training for State Employees.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 46a-54 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The commission shall have the following powers and duties:

(1) To establish and maintain such offices as the commission may deem necessary;

(2) To organize the commission into a division of affirmative action monitoring and contract compliance, a division of discriminatory practice complaints and such other divisions, bureaus or units as may be necessary for the efficient conduct of business of the commission;

(3) To employ a commission counsel who shall not be subject to the provisions of chapter 67;

(4) To appoint such investigators and other employees and agents as it deems necessary, fix their compensation within the limitations provided by law and prescribe their duties;

(5) To adopt, publish, amend and rescind regulations consistent with and to effectuate the provisions of this chapter;

(6) To establish rules of practice to govern, expedite and effectuate the procedures set forth in this chapter;

(7) To recommend policies and make recommendations to agencies and officers of the state and local subdivisions of government to effectuate the policies of this chapter;

(8) To receive, initiate as provided in section 46a-82, investigate and mediate discriminatory practice complaints;

(9) By itself or with or by hearing officers or human rights referees, to hold hearings, subpoena witnesses and compel their attendance, administer oaths, take the testimony of any person under oath and require the production for examination of any books and papers relating to any matter under investigation or in question;

(10) To make rules as to the procedure for the issuance of subpoenas by individual commissioners, hearing officers and human rights referees;

(11) To require written answers to interrogatories under oath relating to any complaint under investigation pursuant to this chapter alleging any discriminatory practice as defined in subdivision (8) of section 46a-51, and to adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 for the procedure for the issuance of interrogatories and compliance with interrogatory requests;

(12) To utilize such voluntary and uncompensated services of private individuals, agencies and organizations as may from time to time be offered and needed and with the cooperation of such agencies, (A) to study the problems of discrimination in all or specific fields of human relationships and (B) to foster through education and community effort or otherwise good will among the groups and elements of the population of the state;

(13) To require the posting by an employer, employment agency or labor organization of such notices regarding statutory provisions as the commission shall provide;

(14) To require the posting, by any respondent or other person subject to the requirements of section 46a-64, 46a-64c, 46a-81d or 46a-81e, of such notices of statutory provisions as it deems desirable;

(15) (A) To require an employer having three or more employees to post in a prominent and accessible location information concerning the illegality of sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment; and (B) to require an employer having fifty or more employees to provide two hours of training and education to all supervisory employees within one year of October 1, 1992, and to all new supervisory employees within six months of their assumption of a supervisory position, provided any employer who has provided such training and education to any such employees after October 1, 1991, shall not be required to provide such training and education a second time. Such training and education shall include information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment. As used in this subdivision, "sexual harassment" shall have the same meaning as set forth in subdivision (8) of subsection (a) of section 46a-60, and "employer" shall include the General Assembly; [and]

(16) To require each state agency that employs one or more employees to (A) provide a minimum of three hours of diversity training and education (i) to all supervisory and nonsupervisory employees, not later than January 1, 2001, with priority for such training to supervisory employees, and (ii) to all newly hired supervisory and nonsupervisory employees, not later than six months after their assumption of a position with a state agency, with priority for such training to supervisory employees. Such training and education shall include information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning discrimination and hate crimes directed at protected classes and remedies available to victims of discrimination and hate crimes, standards for working with and serving persons from diverse populations and strategies for addressing differences that may arise from diverse work environments; and (B) submit an annual report to the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities concerning the status of the diversity training and education required under subparagraph (A) of this subdivision. The information in such annual reports shall be reviewed by the commission for the purpose of submitting an annual summary report to the General Assembly. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, if a state agency has provided such diversity training and education to any of its employees prior to the effective date of this act, such state agency shall not be required to provide such training and education a second time to such employees. The requirements of this subdivision shall be accomplished within available appropriations;

(17) To receive and investigate complaints concerning the failure of a state agency to comply with the requirements of subdivision (16) of this section; and

[(16)] (18) To enter into contracts for and accept grants of private or federal funds and to accept gifts, donations or bequests, including donations of service by attorneys.

Sec. 2. (NEW) On or before February 1, 2000, the Commissioner of Administrative Services, with the advice and assistance of the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities shall, within available appropriations, develop a standardized diversity training program which shall be used by each state agency in completing the diversity training required under section 46a-54 of the general statutes, as amended by section 1 of this act. Such program shall include, but shall not be limited to, training and education concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning discrimination and hate crimes directed at protected classes and remedies available to victims of discrimination and hate crimes, standards for working with and serving persons from diverse populations and strategies for addressing differences that may arise from diverse work environments.

Approved June 23, 1999

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