If you’ve been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace in Connecticut, it’s essential to know that an experienced attorney is your best chance at seeking any sort of justice. The state of Connecticut offers a variety of different guidelines to prevent sexual harassment and a number of ways in which victims can seek compensation if it does occur.
Here’s what you need to know about sexual harassment lawsuits in Connecticut
All states in the union prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which paints sexual harassment as a type of discrimination based on sex. The issue with this Act however is that it only ever applied to companies with 15 or more employees, which prompted the majority of states to (slowly) add their own laws at the state level.
At the state level, the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (CFEPA) prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace for all companies with more than 3 people.
Sexual harassment can be mainly grouped into two common types of accusations:
- “Quid-pro-quo” sexual harassment whereby an employer or higher-ranking employee tries to solicit sexual favors from an employee in exchange for a pay raise, promotion, or tangible job benefit.
- “Hostile work environment” sexual harassment whereby an employee is subject to unwanted sexual advances, stalking, touching, rude comments, or more aggressive forms of sexual assault
Things like asking someone on a date or giving a nonsexual compliment aren’t likely to be taken seriously, and an employee who’s in a long-term relationship with the accused also won’t have as good of a chance at winning their case.
All victims of sexual harassment must file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and Connecticut’s Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities within 300 days.
Rules for employers
In June of 2019, Governor Lamont signed Substitute Senate Bill 3, aka the “Time’s Up” bill, and designated it as Public Act 19-16.1. This bill added to previous sexual harassment laws and made it so that all employers in Connecticut have to follow guidelines on preventing and enforcing sexual harassment in the workplace, for example, providing training programs for employees.
All employers with more than 3 employees are required to give each employee at least 2 hours of anti-sexual harassment training. Previously, only employers with over 50 employees had to comply with such training.
Any employers not following the state’s guidelines will have a much tougher time defending themselves against any allegations of sexual harassment.
Do you need help with a sexual harassment lawsuit in Connecticut?
Given the extensive rules and regulations regarding sexual harassment here in the Nutmeg State, navigating the legal system for these cases can be more confusing than others. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with an experienced sexual harassment attorney. From Hartford to New Haven, a lawyer is waiting to assist you.