In 2019, the State of Connecticut enacted the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA), a statute which created a comprehensive paid family and medical leave insurance program in Connecticut.
The law requires that employers provide paid leave for the reasons covered by the Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act (CTFMLA).
It’s important to note that the PFMLA expanded the scope of the CTFMLA to now include any employer with one or more employees. Employees who have been employed for twelve weeks or more are covered by this new program. The new bill also removed a minimum hours work provision in the original bill and expanded the definition of “family member” to include not just blood relatives, but anyone living in close proximity to the employee.
Why bring attention to this law now?
Employers must begin collecting a 0.5% employee payroll tax starting January 1, 2021. Employers are not required to contribute to the program.
According to the State, “beginning January 1, 2022, the weekly benefit for Connecticut employees will be 95 percent of 40 times the minimum wage and 60 percent on earnings above the minimum wage. The maximum weekly benefit cannot exceed 60 times the minimum wage, which is the equivalent of $780 on a $13 minimum wage, $840 on a $14 minimum wage, and $900 on a $15 minimum wage.”
Employees may qualify for paid family and medical leave for five reasons:
- Care for a new child (birth, adoption, foster)
- Care for a family member with a serious health condition
- Care for one’s own serious health condition
- A qualifying exigency arising out of family member is on active duty
- To serve as an organ or bone marrow donor
The program is being administered by the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority and employers must be registered with the authority beginning in November 2020.
Starting July 1, 2022, covered employers must notify eligible employees in writing at the time of hire and annually after that, of their rights under the PFMLA.
Employers may apply for an exemption to the program if they plan to provide private plans that offer “all of the same rights, protections, and benefits” to all employees that the Family Leave program provides.
If you’re an employer and have questions about labor and employment law, including the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act, consider calling on the attorneys at Kainen, Escalera & McHale in Connecticut. We do one thing and one thing only – we are exclusively an employer defense law firm – in fact, we are one of the largest employer defense law firms in the region. What’s more, each of our attorneys has over 25 years of experience in employment law and labor law matters and can provide your business with comprehensive legal counsel ranging from assistance with necessary preventive measures to trial advocacy. Please contact us if we can help you.
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