On June 25, 2019, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed Public Act 19-25 into law, establishing a statewide paid family and medical leave program. This new paid family leave program will be funded through a mandatory payroll tax on employees of 0.5% of income, beginning in 2021.
Beginning in 2022, eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of protected paid leave in a 12-month period for certain family and medical reasons. Employees who experience a pregnancy-related serious health condition that results in incapacity will be eligible for up to 14 weeks of paid family and medical leave.
Beginning July 1, 2022, employers must provide written notice to employees of their right to benefits under the law, both at the time of hiring and annually thereafter.
Although employers are not directly responsible for paying benefits under this Connecticut law, employers must (starting in 2022) notify employees both at the time of hire and annually thereafter of their right to benefits under the law. Retaliation by employers for utilizing the paid leave is, of course, prohibited.
Like the Massachusetts program established last year, Connecticut’s law permits employers to apply for an exemption if the employer provides a private plan with the same benefits as are available through the Connecticut state fund. Separately, employers participating in the state plan may require that employees substitute otherwise available paid vacation or other paid leave during a CFMLA leave, subject to the employee’s right to reserve up to two weeks of any such paid time off.
The law established the Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Authority (the Authority) to administer and enforce the paid family and medical leave program. Amounts are paid by a state trust fund established pursuant to the program, thus making the state of Connecticut, like Massachusetts, directly responsible for administering and paying benefits.