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Connecticut Sick Leave Updates
Connecticut Capital
May 13, 2024

Since Connecticut became the first state to require paid sick leave to certain eligible employers and employees in 2012, almost every year the state legislature looked to update the law. There was updated guidance in 2015, but it was just a matter of time until the current law was pretty much overhauled – it happened during this current legislative session. Upon Governor Lamont’s signature (which the Governor has indicated he will sign the bill), major changes will occur to paid sick leave in Connecticut.

What are the major changes?

Currently, only employers with 50+ employees are required to provide paid sick leave. The new law will change that threshold to the following:

  • On January 1, 2025 – employers with 25 or more employees in the state;
  • On January 1, 2026 – employers with 11 or more employees in the state; and
  • On January 1, 2027 – employers with one or more employees in the state.

Are there employers that are not required to provide paid sick leave?

Yes. Self-employed individuals and employers that participate in multi-employer health plans maintained as part of one or more collective bargaining agreements between a construction related union and an employer are not covered under this new law.

Are all employees covered under this new law?

Currently, “service workers,” as defined by the job classifications listed on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Manufacturing workers are generally exempt from paid sick time as are employees of nationally chartered non-profit organizations, such as the YMCA.

The new law will require “all” employees to be covered except for limited “seasonal employees” as an exception. These seasonal employees are those who work less than 120 days each year. Also, certain unionized employees whose employer participates in multi-employer health plans due to collective bargaining agreements are not covered under the new law.

Can covered employees take paid sick time for any reason?

Currently, covered employees can take sick time for their own sickness, a child or spouse. The new law will expand the reasons to include the same reasons that the Connecticut FMLA includes. Under the Connecticut FMLA, a family member includes:

  • Adult children;
  • Siblings;
  • Parents;
  • Grandparent, Grandchild; 
  • An individual related to the employee by blood or affinity whose close association the employee shows to be the equivalent of those family relationships; or
  • Due to family violence.

How do employees accrue paid sick time?

Currently, employees will accrue one hour for every 40 hours actually worked and can begin to use paid sick time after satisfying an initial 680 hours upon hire. This 680 hours is a one-time initial period, and this can be waived by the employer. 

The new law changes the accrual rate to one hour for every 30 hours of actual work. Additionally, the 680 initial usage period goes away and a new employee would only have to satisfy the 120-day employment requirement. Also, the amount an employee can accrue during the year remains the same, which is 40 hours. The current requirement allowing employees to carry-over unused paid sick time remains at up to 40 hours in total.

Additionally, it is likely that employers who currently provide at least 40 hours of paid sick time to their employees, and do not add additional restrictions above and beyond the new law will most likely be compliant with the new law.

Do employees need to provide documentation to the employer when taking paid sick time?

Beginning on January 1, 2025, employees are not required to provide their employer with any medical documentation substantiating their sick time.

What are the notice requirements employers have to communicate this new law to their employees?

Currently there is a poster that employers are required to post in the workplace. 

The new law will require the following notices effective January 1, 2025:

  • Updated poster developed by the Department of Labor;
  • Notice to new employees; and
  • Wage payment records (paystubs) will need to include the number of accrued paid sick time and the number of hours used by the employee. These records must be maintained for three years.

KardasLarson is ready to assist employers with education and implementation of this new expansion to the Connecticut Paid Sick Leave Act.

Nick Daukas

Nick Daukas

Author

With 30+ years of HR experience Nick specializes in ER, OD, Recruitment and Legal Compliance. He has an MBA and holds advanced HR certifications SPHR, SHRM-SCP.

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