Sexual Harassment Policies Scrutinized Amid High-Profile Cases

With this latest in a string of high-profile case of alleged inappropriate behavior, NBC Connecticut spoke with Mark Soycher of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association who provides sexual harassment training for dozens of Connecticut businesses.

"I'm a big advocate of pushing the training down to the non-supervisor staff because it really does require that community effort in the workplace," Mark Soycher said.

Soycher says a state mandate requires all employers with 50 or more employees to provide sexual harassment training for supervisors but he says bystander training is just as important.

"If they're thinking about saying or doing something think about if you have a 10-year-old son daughter and grandchild sitting next to you would you act the same way if you had to explain your behavior to the child," Soycher said.

"We’ve seen an uptick in calls questions and people inquiring about their rights," Bruce Newman with Brown Paindiris & Scott, LLP said.

Newman says sexual misconduct complaints fall into two categories, hostile work environment and quid pro-quo where superiors threaten employees for not accepting their advances. Employees can file complaints at three levels including with their HR supervisor, the Commission on Human Rights and could eventually end up in Superior Court.

"There should be stiff internal penalties by corporations and they need to take a stand and say we're not going tolerate this behavior," Newman said.

"There's definitely an effort to be more PC nowadays at our firm we have to do mandatory training every two years," Sarah Hill said.

For downtown Hartford employees Sarah Hill and Christopher Anderson the conversation is now at the forefront and one that’s circulating in workplaces across the state.

"Unfortunate how many of the stories of come to light but everyone needs to be heard," Christopher Anderson said.

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