Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 166

    February Session, 2018

House Bill No. 5043

House of Representatives, April 4, 2018

The Committee on Labor and Public Employees reported through REP. PORTER of the 94th Dist., Chairperson of the Committee on the part of the House, that the bill ought to pass.

AN ACT PROMOTING A FAIR, CIVIL AND HARASSMENT-FREE WORKPLACE.

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

Section 1. Subdivision (15) of section 46a-54 of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(15) (A) To require an employer having three or more employees to: [post] (i) Post in a prominent and accessible location information concerning the illegality of [sexual] harassment on the basis of any status described in subsection (b) of section 46a-60 or section 46a-81c, which harassment may include, but need not be limited to, sexual harassment, and the remedies available to [victims] the targets of [sexual] such harassment, [; and (B) to require an employer having fifty or more employees to] and (ii) directly communicate such information and remedies to employees on an annual basis;

(B) To require an employer having fifteen or more employees to provide (i) (I) on or before October 1, 2019, two cumulative hours of awareness and antiharassment compliance training and education to all supervisory employees, [within one year of October 1, 1992, and to] and (II) after October 1, 2019, such training and education for all new supervisory employees [within] not later than six months [of] after their assumption of a supervisory position, provided any employer who has provided such training and education to any such employees after October 1, [1991] 2017, shall not be required to provide such training and education a second time; [.] (ii) (I) on or before October 1, 2019, such training and education to all nonsupervisory employees, and (II) after October 1, 2019, such training and education for all new nonsupervisory employees not later than six months after their date of hire, provided any employer who has provided such training and education to any such employees after October 1, 2017, shall not be required to provide such training and education a second time; and (iii) periodic, supplemental training that updates all supervisory and nonsupervisory employees on the content of such training and education not less than every five years; and

(C) Such training and education shall include, [information concerning] but need not be limited to: (i) Training on the federal and state statutory provisions concerning [sexual] harassment, [and] remedies available to [victims] targets of [sexual] harassment, including sexual harassment, the employer's policy against harassment, examples of the types of conduct that constitute and do not constitute harassment and strategies to prevent harassment, (ii) bystander intervention training, and (iii) a discussion of workplace civility that shall include what is acceptable and expected behavior in the workplace. As used in this subdivision, "sexual harassment" has the same meaning as provided in subdivision (8) of subsection (b) of section 46a-60, and "employer" includes the General Assembly;

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2018

46a-54(15)

LAB

Joint Favorable

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 19 $

FY 20 $

Human Rights & Opportunities, Com.

GF - Potential Cost

105,090

140,120

State Comptroller - Fringe Benefits1

GF - Potential Cost

38,179

50,906

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill extends existing workplace harassment provisions, resulting in an increased number of employers and employees requiring additional information, education, or trainings.

While employers can hire private firms to conduct trainings, the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) provides free trainings. To the extent these requirements result in a significant increase in the number of requests CHRO receives for training, a potential cost for two additional training staff of $143,269 in FY 19 (partial year) and $191,026 in FY 20 (annualized), including fringe benefits, may be incurred.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to inflation.

Sources:

Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities

OLR Bill Analysis

HB 5043

AN ACT PROMOTING A FAIR, CIVIL AND HARASSMENT-FREE WORKPLACE.

SUMMARY

Current law authorizes the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) to require employers to take certain steps, including posting notices and providing training, to make employees aware that workplace sexual harassment is illegal and remedies to harassment are available. This bill expands these requirements by:

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018

WORKPLACE NOTICE REQUIREMENT

Existing law authorizes CHRO to require all employers with at least three employees to post in a prominent and accessible location, notices that (1) state sexual harassment is illegal and (2) provide available legal remedies. The bill broadens this notice requirement to include harassment based on any protected status (i.e., race; color; religious creed; age; sex; gender identity or expression; marital status; national origin; ancestry; present or past history of mental disability; intellectual disability; learning disability; physical disability, including, but not limited to, blindness; status as a veteran (CGS 46a-60(b)); and sexual orientation (CGS 46a-81c)). It also specifies that harassment may include sexual harassment.

The bill additionally requires employers to directly communicate this information annually to employees.

Current law refers to “victims” of sexual harassment. The bill changes this to “targets” of harassment. It also makes various conforming and technical changes.

TRAINING REQUIREMENT

Under current law, CHRO can require employers with at least 50 employees to provide their supervisory employees with two hours of training regarding federal and state sexual harassment laws and remedies available to victims. The bill (1) lowers the employer threshold to those with at least 15 employees and (2) requires that training also be provided to nonsupervisory employees. It requires the training to cover the following additional specifics:

The bill requires the new training for supervisors and nonsupervisors to take place by October 1, 2019. After October 1, 2019, the training must take place within six months for either a newly-hired employee or newly-appointed supervisor, except that any employer who provided the bill's training after October 1, 2017 is not required to provide the training a second time.

The bill also requires that these employers provide periodic supplemental training for all employees at least once every five years.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Labor and Public Employees Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

13

Nay

0

(03/20/2018)

TOP

1 The fringe benefit costs for most state employees are budgeted centrally in accounts administered by the Comptroller. The estimated active employee fringe benefit cost associated with most personnel changes is 36.33% of payroll in FY 19 and FY 20.