According to the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (CFEPA), sexual harassment at work against either interns or employees is strictly prohibited. While the Act applies to those businesses or companies that employ more than three individuals, you should know that per Connecticut law, regardless of how many people your employer has on the payroll, sexual harassment is illegal for anyone. Those who sexually harass someone else in the workplace in Connecticut can be subject to both criminal and civil penalties if found guilty.
The Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act also requires that any company with more than fifty employees provide sexual harassment prevention training to those workers who hold a supervisory position. “Supervisory employee” has a very broad definition, but in general, it means any employee who is responsible for the discipline, hiring, suspending, assigning or promoting another employee.
What constitutes sexual harassment in the workplace?
Sexual harassment comes in two different forms: quid pro quo or by someone creating a hostile work environment.
A victim of quid pro quo sexual harassment is someone who is literally offered “this for that.” It is a type of harassment where someone is either offered an employee reward for a requested sexual favor, or they are denied an employee reward for not following a requested sexual favor. Any type of quid pro quo request constitutes sexual harassment at work and is strictly prohibited by law.
A victim of a hostile work environment is someone who has systematically been made to feel intimidated by threatening or inappropriate behavior from another employee or supervisor. Things like sexual innuendos, derogatory remarks about gender, unwelcome sexual advances or nonconsensual touching are all examples of sexually-harassing behaviors that can create a hostile work environment for an employee, and are all strictly prohibited by law.
If you are the victim of sexual harassment then you might be eligible to:
- Initiate cease and desist orders against the person who is sexually harassing you
- Be privy to compensation for any days missed from work
- Collect compensatory damages
- Be rehired, reinstated, or even promoted