On June 25, 2019, Governor Ned Lamont signed into law Connecticut’s Paid Family and Medical Leave law. Below are some highlights from the new law:
|Connecticut Paid Family and Medical Leave Law|
|Key Dates||June 25, 2019 – CT Governor signs legislation into law;
January 1, 2021 – Employee payroll tax begins;
January 1, 2022 – Benefits become available and final regulations are due;
July 1, 2022 – Annual notice of benefits to all new employees required.
|Governing Body||New state agency, the Paid Family Leave Insurance Authority.|
|Covered Employers||Employers with at least one employee working in the state. The law exempts municipalities, local or regional boards of education, and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools. Municipal union employees can bargain to be covered under the state program. If the union bargains and is granted inclusion, non-union employees for that municipality will automatically be included.|
|Eligible Employees||An employee who has earned at least $2,325 in a base period (ex: first four of the five most recently completed calendar quarters) and have been employed at least 3 months preceding the leave request. Available to full-time, part-time and former employees (if they apply within 12 weeks of losing their job).|
|Leaves Covered||Family leave to bond with a newborn or adopted child. Medical leave to care for a family member with a serious illness (family member’s include spouse, child, parent, parent-in-law, stepparent, others who are equivalent to a family member, grandchild, grandparent or sibling). Medical leave is also available for the employee’s own serious illness. Paid leave is also available to serve as an organ or bone marrow donor.
Intermittent leave will also be allowed except in the case of bonding with a newborn or adoption.
|Length of Leave||Up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave during a 12 month period, with another two weeks available for a serious health condition related to pregnancy.|
|Benefit Amount||95% of base weekly earnings up to 60 times the minimum wage rate (maximum weekly amount will be approximately $780 per week in 2022 up to $900 per week in 2023).|
|Payroll Contribution||Beginning January 1, 2021, a new payroll tax up to .5 percent of the employee’s wages will be deducted to fund the program. Wages are capped at the Social Security wage base ($132,900 in 2019).|
|Concurrent Benefits||If an employee is receiving worker’s compensation, unemployment compensation and another other state or federal wage replacement, they will not be eligible for benefits under the CT Paid Family and Medical Leave.|
|Private Employer Plans||Connecticut employers can opt out of the state program if they have an employer sponsored private plan that provides the same or more generous benefit. Private plans must be approved by a majority of covered employees.|
The above is a brief overview of the law as it stands today and is subject to change. Final regulations are due by January 1, 2022 which is the same date that benefits are first payable. The regulations should clarify issues surrounding implementation, coordination with CT’s unpaid FMLA leave and provide sample model notices. Diversified Group will keep you informed of any developments.