Government Administration and Elections Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-494

Title:

AN ACT REQUIRING STATE CONTRACTORS AND UNIONS TO ADOPT A SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY.

Vote Date:

3/23/2018

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

3/19/2018

File No.:

408

Disclaimer: The following JOINT FAVORABLE Report is prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and does not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose.

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Government Administration and Elections Committee

CO-SPONSORS OF BILL:

Sen. Mae Flexer, 19th Dist.

Rep. Christie M. Carpino, 32nd Dist.

REASONS FOR BILL:

In light of the high volume of sexual harassment scandals in the news, the state of Connecticut wants to require all contractors hired by state agencies to have sexual harassment training for its employees.

**Proposed Substitute Language: Regarding the sexual harassment policy of unions and contractors- changes to apply to those with three or more employees, and requires the contractors to submit an affidavit regarding the policy rather than the actual policy

Amendment :The new language would strike Section 1 subsection (f) lines 76 to 85 and Section 3 subsection (b) lines 153 to 163 to remove the two hour training requirement for employees and new employee of business entities with three or more employees and labor organizations.**

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Melody Currey, Commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services (DAS):

Commissioner Currey testified in favor of SB-494 with minor technical modifications. These modifications include altering the definition of a contractor and suggest not requiring the company to provide a copy of their sexual harassment training in their bid.

DAS recommends simply requiring vendors and prequalification applicants to attest under oath that they have anti-harassment policies. DAS also suggests that including the requirement to have an anti-harassment policy and the requirement to conduct harassment prevention training for supervisors in statutes 4a-60 and 4a-60a may be an effective and efficient way of achieving the intent of Senate Bill 494.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Tanya Hughes, Executive Director of the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities:

Ms. Hughes testified in support of SB-494. However, the CHRO thinks this bill is duplicating what is already in place. In addition, she believes that the training requirement in S.B. 494 should apply to all contractors and labor organizations regardless of the number of employees.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Scott Jordan, Executive Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer of UCONN:

UCONN supports the goals of this bill, but opposes this bill in its current form. They believe it will discourage vendors and partners from working with UCONN; it would impose significant administrative costs on UConn and all other state agencies and institutions at a time when resources have become much more limited; would impose significant administrative costs on UConn and all other state agencies and institutions at a time when resources have become much more limited.

Reported by: Molly Ronan / Susan Tufts

Date: April 9, 2018