State paid family and medical leave laws are on the rise in the United States, with a total of nine states - including Connecticut - offering paid leave to their workforces for certain qualifying life or medical events.
What are state paid family and medical leave laws?
State paid family and medical leave laws provide for paid leave from work for eligible employees based on certain qualifying life events, such as the birth or adoption of a child, to care for oneself or a family member who is experiencing a serious medical condition, or to care for a family member injured while on active duty in the military, among others. Employees receive a weekly benefit which represents a portion of their regular compensation based upon a state created formula.
We've compiled a review of Connecticut's Paid Family Leave to ensure you're aware of key upcoming dates and the requirements to ensure your compliance.
Connecticut Paid Family Leave
KEY DATES: *Starting on November 1, 2020, employers can begin registering for the Connecticut Paid Leave Program (CTPL). *Effective January 1, 2021, employee contributions via payroll deduction commence. *Starting January 1, 2022, employees whose applications for paid leave have been approved, may begin to receive their weekly benefit amounts.
Employees who need to take leave from employment as a result of certain qualifying life or medical events.
Employees must be currently employed by a CT employer, or recently employed by one in the previous 12 weeks.
Must have earned at least $2,325.00 in wages in highest quarter of the first 4 of the most recent 5 quarters.
Weekly Benefit Amount:
Weekly benefit amount is calculated on sliding scale up to 95% of an employee’s base weekly earnings depending on income. The maximum weekly benefit amount is 60x the Connecticut state minimum wage, which would be $720.00 ($12.00x60) as of January 1, 2021, increasing to $780.00 ($13.00 x60) as of August 1, 2021.
Employee and/or Employer Contributions to the program:
100% employee contributions through payroll deduction of 0.5% of employee wages each paycheck, capped at Social Security’s maximum wage base, which is $137,700.00 for 2020 (and $142,800.00 for 2021).
Duration of Leave:
Up to 12 weeks* of paid leave during any 12- month period.
Qualifying events making employees/participants eligible for leave:
Birth or foster/adoption placement of a son or daughter with employee.
If an employee experiences a serious health condition during pregnancy or post-birth resulting in incapacity, she may be eligible for an additional two weeks of paid leave*.
To care for an employee’s own or a family member’s serious health condition.
To serve as an organ or bone marrow donor.
To seek services or to address situations of family violence.
An employee who is the victim of family violence is entitled to 12 days of paid leave under the CTPL program*.
To care for a military family member injured during active duty, or for reasons related to the family member’s call or order to active duty.
Other Relevant Information:
Participation in the program is mandatory for all employers having at least one employee working in Connecticut, with the exception of certain public employees, union employees, etc.
Employers can opt-out and apply for an exemption from participation in the program through a private plan which must be approved by the state and a majority of employees.
Employers who will be seeking a private plan exemption must also register with the CTPL Authority, and should begin the registration process now. While the complete application process for private plans is not yet available, employers can indicate their intention to apply for a private plan during the registration process. The CTPL program exemption guide can be found here >>
Notice Requirement: Effective July 1, 2022: Employers are required to notify all employees at the time of hiring, and annually thereafter of their entitlement to paid leave under the program, anti-retaliation protections in exercising leave, and their ability to pursue a complaint with the department of labor should an employer violate their obligations under the law.
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. Employers should closely monitor the rules and regulations specific to their jurisdiction(s) and should seek advice from counsel relative to their rights and responsibilities.