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12/26/2017

Gov. Malloy Directs State Agencies to Conduct Review of Sexual Harassment Prevention Procedures

Governor Says the State Must Actively Work to Prevent Harassment in the Workplace

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that – in light of the ongoing, national conversation regarding sexual harassment in the workplace – he has signed an executive order directing the State of Connecticut’s policies and procedures on the topic to be reviewed within all executive branch state agencies to ensure that the state, as an employer, has effective strategies in place and to determine whether there are opportunities for improvement to achieve better outcomes for all employees.

“Recently, our country has seen an unprecedented number of brave individuals come forward with shocking reports of sexual harassment in the workplace, creating a heightened awareness about the prevalence of predatory harassment and the role of power differentials in the workplace,” Governor Malloy said. “As an employer itself, the State of Connecticut must be a partner in fostering a civil environment and tolerant culture that embraces diversity and respect among its employees. I am proud that our state has a long history as a leader in protecting the civil rights and dignity of its citizens, and I want to continue those efforts. While the state does have a number of existing policies in place that state agencies are required to follow, I am determined to see to it that these policies are not only being enforced, but that they are adequate – and if not, I want to ascertain how they can be improved. We must ensure that our policies are effective in creating an open and respectful workplace culture.”

“Reviewing state sexual harassment policies is important to gauging the safety of our own workplaces and ensuring that, as an employer, the State of Connecticut is acting in the best interests of employees and residents,” Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said. “All people deserve a fair and just workplace, one that is free from harassment and bias, where they can grow their careers based on merit and leadership.”

Governor Malloy’s Executive Order No. 62 directs the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) to conduct the review and specifically determine whether state agencies are currently in compliance with training that is mandated by state law, whether agencies provide training that goes above and beyond what is required by the law, and whether the training can be improved.

Based on the results of that assessment, DAS will be required to deliver a report to the Governor no later than February 1, 2018, that compiles a review of the best practices on ways to address and prevent harassment, and makes recommendations on additional measures that should be implemented to improve the state’s existing policies and procedures.

The State of Connecticut instituted mandatory sexual harassment prevention training for employers in 1991, before most other states required such training. Under current law, employers having fifty or more employees must provide two hours of training and education to all supervisory employees within six months of their assumption of a supervisory position. Federal and state law, including Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act prohibits various forms of discrimination and illegal harassment in employment.

Upon receiving the report from DAS, Governor Malloy said that he intends to share the findings with the leadership of the legislative and judicial branches for their own consideration within each of those respective branches of government.

**Download: Governor Malloy’s Executive Order No. 62

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