Monumental changes to Connecticut employment law are on the horizon.

Late last week, the House approved a bill creating a paid family and medical leave program in Connecticut. Senate Bill 0001, “An Act Concerning Paid Family and Medical Leave,” creates a Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FMLI) program to provide wage replacement benefits to certain employees taking leave for reasons allowed under Connecticut’s Family and Medical Leave Act (CFMLA).The bill contains a number of changes impacting CFMLA, beginning as soon as January 2021. Here are the most noteworthy:

  • Paid Leave: Current law does not require an employee’s CFMLA leave to be paid. The bill proposes paid leave for employees funded by a payroll tax on workers of 0.5%, which will be administered by an FMLI trust fund. The trust fund will provide benefits to covered employees, up to a maximum of $900 a week, which is significantly more than paid leave programs in other states.
  • Covered Employers: Current law mandates that all employers with 75 or more employees are covered by CFMLA. The bill reduces this employee threshold from 75 to one, covering almost all private sector employers in the state.
  • Employee Eligibility: Under current law, in order to be eligible for CFMLA leave an employee must, at the time the leave begins, have: (1) worked for the employer for a total of twelve or more months; and (2) worked for at least 1,000 hours during the twelve months preceding the leave. The bill makes employees eligible if they have worked for their employer for at least three months immediately preceding their request for leave with no minimum requirement for hours worked.

Other proposed changes concern the maximum amount of leave available, the expansion of family members for whom an employee can take leave for, and record keeping requirements for employers. Connecticut will be joining its neighbors New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey in offering paid family leave benefits.

Employers operating in Connecticut should consider the effect paid leave will have on its policies and payroll practices, and provide additional training for human resources personnel and supervisors accordingly. As always, Murtha lawyers are available to help employers with any and all aspects of compliance with the CFMLA and FMLI program.

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Photo of Salvatore G. Gangemi Salvatore G. Gangemi

Salvatore G. Gangemi is a Partner in the Litigation Department of Murtha Cullina and a member of the Labor and Employment Practice Group. He advises clients with respect to state, federal and local employment laws. In addition, he litigates matters involving misappropriation of…

Salvatore G. Gangemi is a Partner in the Litigation Department of Murtha Cullina and a member of the Labor and Employment Practice Group. He advises clients with respect to state, federal and local employment laws. In addition, he litigates matters involving misappropriation of trade secrets, restrictive covenants, breach of employment contract, fiduciary duty, and other work-related common law claims. Sal also counsels clients on day-to-day issues involving workplace management and administration, including requests for reasonable accommodation for disabilities, for family and medical leave, and wage and hour issues.  He conducts employment law training on a variety of topics, including sexual harassment prevention and wage/ hour compliance.  He also drafts employment policies and agreements, and assists clients in auditing worker classification practices and policies both in the context of the Fair Labor Standards Act and state laws governing independent contractor determinations.

Photo of Chelsea K. Choi Chelsea K. Choi

Chelsea K. Choi is a member of the Firm’s Labor and Employment  Practice Group. She represents employers on a variety of matters including hiring, evaluation, discipline, layoff, and termination of employees.

Prior to joining Murtha Cullina, Chelsea was an associate and law clerk

Chelsea K. Choi is a member of the Firm’s Labor and Employment  Practice Group. She represents employers on a variety of matters including hiring, evaluation, discipline, layoff, and termination of employees.

Prior to joining Murtha Cullina, Chelsea was an associate and law clerk at prominent law firms in Hartford, CT and Springfield, MA. While in law school, she served as a Note Editor of The Western New England Law Review at Western New England School of Law. Chelsea received her B.A., cum laude, from Syracuse University, where she was a team member and co-captain of the Syracuse University Cheerleading Program.