Connecticut Enacts Paid Family & Medical Leave Law, Beginning 2021

Connecticut’s governor signed into law An Act Concerning Paid Family and Medical Leave.

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June 04, 2019

Connecticut’s governor signed into law An Act Concerning Paid Family and Medical Leave, creating Connecticut’s Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program, the most generous state paid family and medical leave program in the country to date. Below are details that will be relevant to employers.

Connecticut Paid Family & Medical Leave

Connecticut’s new law provides, among other things, the following:

  • Effective dates: Employers must begin payroll deductions to fund the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program on January 1, 2021. Program benefits will begin January 1, 2022.
  • Funding: The program will be employee-funded through a payroll tax of no more than 0.5%. Employers are not required to contribute but will be responsible for payroll deductions and submitting deductions to the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Trust Fund.
  • Length of leave: Employees will be eligible for up to 12 weeks of paid leave in any 12-month period, plus an additional 2 weeks in the case of a serious health condition that causes incapacitation during pregnancy.
  • Eligibility: This law applies to any employer with one or more employees in Connecticut. Employees are eligible for paid leave after 12 weeks of employment, provided they earned at least $2,325 in at least one quarter within the “base period” of the first 4 of the 5 most recently completed quarters.
  • Amount of pay: Employees will be entitled to 95% of their base weekly earnings up to 40 times the Connecticut minimum wage, plus 60% of base weekly earnings above 40 times the Connecticut minimum wage. There is an overall benefit maximum of 60 times the Connecticut minimum wage (approximately $780/week in 2022).
  • Types of leave: Employees will be able to use family and medical leave for birth; placement for adoption or foster care; their own or a family member’s serious health condition; to serve as an organ or bone marrow donor; or for their own or a spouse’s, child’s, or parent’s active duty in the armed forces.
  • Family members: For purposes of this law, “family member” includes a spouse, sibling, child, grandparent, grandchild, parent, or individual related by blood or affinity whose close association is equivalent to one of those family relationships.
  • Intermittent leave: An employee can take intermittent leave for his/her own or a family member’s serious health condition or to serve as an organ or bone marrow donor. An employee cannot take intermittent leave for birth or placement for adoption or foster care unless the employee and employer agree to the leave.
  • Coordination with existing leave benefits: Employers can require employees to substitute paid vacation, personal, or family leave for leave under Connecticut’s program. However, employees must be able to retain at least 2 weeks of their existing vacation, personal, or family leave.

We expect that Connecticut’s Labor Commissioner will issue rules and guidance to implement and enforce the above provisions.

Next Steps

We recommend that employers with employees in Connecticut:

  • Review current leave policies determine whether changes to leave or other benefit policies are necessary;
  • Work with HR, payroll, and any third-party vendors to determine what steps, if any, are needed to begin complying by 2021; and
  • Stay up to date on implementing guidance from Connecticut. We will update our members on new developments.

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