Kushner reaffirms her support for Democrats' 'Time's Up' sexual harassment bill

State Senator Julie Kushner (D-24th) who represents Sherman, New Fairfield, Danbury and Bethel has reiterated her support for Senate Bill 3, “An Act Combatting Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment.”

The bill, which Democrats call the ‘Time’s Up” bill, is designed to increase some sexual harassment penalties, extend the time limits people have to file lawsuits for sexual assault, and require more employer-sponsored sexual harassment training.

The announcement came on the day the bill received much-anticipated public hearing before the legislature’s Judiciary Committee, on April 1.

“The people in my district want us to protect victims of sexual abuse,” Sen. Kushner said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that there has been a shift in Connecticut and across this country when it comes to public policies affecting women, especially on the issues of timelines for filing sexual assault complaints and sexual harassment in the workplace.”

“We know what the facts are. We know what the problem is. Now we’re working to fix it,” she said.

More than five dozen individuals and organizations submitted written testimony regarding Senate Bill 3; those testifying in support included the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, the Women and Families Center, the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence the state Victim Advocate, and The Center for Family Justice.

Compared to other states and the District of Columbia, Connecticut’s statute of limitations for rape -- five years -- is one of the shortest in the country.

Twenty-five other states have no statute of limitations for rape, and 20 states have a limit longer than Connecticut’s.

Senate Bill 3 would extend Connecticut’s existing statute of limitations for sexual assault crimes from five years to no limit in Class B and C felony sexual assault (e.g., forced rape, rape by drugs), and from five years to 25 years in felony sexual assault ( e.g., forced sexual contact).

Senate Bill 3 would eliminate the statute of limitations for sexual abuse of a minor, which would apply prospectively (going forward after passage), and it eliminates the statute of limitations for sexual abuse claims against an adult, which would also apply prospectively.

Senate Bill 3 also contains new sexual harassment training requirements where employers with three or more employees must provide such training to all employees.

Currently, employers with only 50 or more employees are required to provide at least two hours of training on sexual harassment to supervisory employees within six months of their employment. The new bill would require two hours of training for all employees, not just supervisors.

The Judiciary Committee has until April 12 to vote on the bill.