Dear church leaders,
Sexual harassment is an insidious element of our world. Its violation and impact have a deep and lasting effect on people emotionally and physically. And our Conference and Denomination have long been outspoken against harassment and misconduct in our workplaces, our churches and our world. In October of 2019, the Connecticut Legislature enacted a new law, called The Times Up Act. While we encourage all of our Southern New England Conference churches to consider this, it has a direct impact on all of our churches within the state of Connecticut.
The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities on their website writes:
“Among other changes to the CHRO process, this legislation establishes new rules and requirements regarding sexual harassment training and education. These provisions and requirements go into effect October 1, 2019 . The language, which applies to employers which have three or more employees , includes:
- Employers will be required to provide to a new employee a copy of information regarding the illegality of sexual harassment and remedies available to victims.
- Employers must provide all existing employees with two hours of training by October 1, 2020.
- Employers must provide two hours of training and education to new employees hired on or after October 1, 2019 within six months of their start date.
- Employers with fewer than three employees must provide two hours of training and education to all existing supervisory employees by October 1, 2020 or within six months to new supervisory employees.
- Employers must provide periodic supplemental training not less than every ten years.”
Connecticut Churches are subject to this law. And all of our churches within our Southern New England Conference would benefit from this training. The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities website provides information and access to an online training that will enable you to be in compliance with the law. Our UCC Insurance Board has some resources and policy suggestions for the issue of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct in the workplace (and church). It would be good to review these and compare them to your church’s employee policies. You can find them here:
- Keeping Your Congregation Safe Tips for Preventing Sexual Harassment (PDF)
- Insurance Board Online Learning Page
If you have any questions, please reach out to Karen Ziel.
Bridge Conference Ministers
Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash