Starting January 1, 2022, the Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act (CT FMLA) will apply to all employers, requiring them to provide unpaid, job-protected leave to employees. Several other expansions of the law will also take effect at the same time, as described below.

Applicability
Currently, CT FMLA applies to employers with 75 or more employees.

As of January 1, 2022, CT FMLA will apply to all employers with one or more employee in Connecticut.

Employee Eligibility
Employees are eligible to take CT FMLA leave if they work in Connecticut and have been with the employer for at least three months.

Currently, employees must also have worked a minimum number of hours to be eligible for leave.

As of January 1, 2022, there is no minimum hours-worked requirement.

Leave Uses
CT FMLA may be taken for the following reasons:

  • To bond with the employee’s newborn baby
  • To bond with a child who has been placed with the employee for adoption or foster care
  • To care for the employee’s family member who has a serious health condition
  • For the employee’s own serious health condition
  • To serve as an organ or bone marrow donor
  • Because of any qualifying exigency when the spouse, child, or parent of the employee is on active duty, or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty

Employees may take leave intermittently when medically necessary or for bonding when the employer agrees.

Leave Amount
Currently, eligible employees can take up to 16 weeks of CT FMLA in a 24-month period.

As of January 1, 2022, that changes to 12 weeks in a 12-month period, plus two additional weeks if they need leave because of a serious health condition during pregnancy.

The CT Department of Labor has guidance here on transitioning to the new CT FMLA provisions if an employee’s CT FMLA leave runs from 2021 into 2022.

Family Members
Currently, family members are defined as the employee’s spouse, child, or parent.

As of January 1, 2022, the definition of family member will also include grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, and anyone the employee has a relationship with that is equivalent to a family member. This expanded definition could include, for example, a girlfriend, cousin, aunt, or step-grandparent.

Required Notice to Employees
Employers must provide employees notice of their CT FMLA rights upon hire and once a year afterward. We expect the Connecticut Labor Commissioner to provide a template notice for employers to use. You can check on the CT DOL website around the New Year.

Paid Time Off
Employers can require employees to use their accrued paid time off during CT FMLA leave. However, employees will be able to choose to keep up to two weeks of their PTO. For example, if an employee has three weeks of PTO and takes six weeks of CT FMLA leave, the employer can require them to use one week of PTO, but the employee can choose to keep two weeks of PTO to take vacation later in the year.

Action Items
If you already have a CT FMLA policy, be sure to update your policy according to the expansions discussed above. If you are newly covered by CT FMLA, make sure to have a CT FMLA policy. Policies should be updated or implemented by January 1.

Managers should be trained to recognize if leave requests might qualify for CT FMLA and understand that granting CT FMLA leave to eligible employees is required.

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NARFA

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