Two new laws that apply to all employers in the State of Connecticut- CT Family & Medical Leave Act (CTFMLA) and CT Paid Family Leave Act (CTPFLA) go into effect on January 1.
An eligible employee may take CTFMLA leave for any of the following reasons:
Birth of a child and care for the child within the first year after birth;
The placement of a child for adoption or foster care and care for the child;
Care for a family member with a serious health condition;
Because of an employee’s own serious health condition;
To serve as an organ or bone marrow donor;
To address qualifying exigencies arising from a spouse, son, daughter or parent’s active-duty service in the armed forces; and
To care for a spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin with a serious injury or illness incurred on active duty in the armed forces.
Once an employee notifies his or her employer that an absence is for a CTFMLA qualifying reason, the employer must timely notify the employee of his or her eligibility for CTFMLA leave, provide the employee with a notice of rights and responsibilities and begin the approval process, which may include asking the employee to complete a medical certification form. An employee is entitled to be reinstated to the employee’s same position or, if the same position is no longer available, to an equivalent position upon returning from CTFMLA leave. An employee is not entitled to reinstatement if the employee has exhausted his or her CTFMLA leave entitlement, the employment relationship would have ended regardless of the employee’s taking CTFMLA leave, or the employee obtains CT FMLA fraudulently. Employers are prohibited from interfering with, or retaliating or discriminating against, an employee for requesting or taking CTFMLA leave. The CT Department of Labor has issued guidance for employers and forms that employers may use in the process of administering the new law. You can access that information here: https://portal.ct.gov/DOLUI/newfmlaguidance#CT_Family_&_Medical_Leave_Forms
The Paid Family and Medical Leave Act applies to Connecticut employers with one or more employees, unless they fit into one of the statutory exceptions. An employer with one employee must register with www.ctpaidleave.org and must remit its employee's contributions to the CT Paid Leave program electronically. Starting in January 2022, the employee may apply for income-replacement benefits if they need to take leave for a qualifying reason and meets the eligibility requirements.The CT Paid Leave Act has a broad definition of employee: "“Employee” means an individual engaged in service to an employer in this state in the business of the employer." If an individual receives a W2 from their employer, they are considered to be a employee, even if they are not required to pay FICA or unemployment insurance taxes. The Connecticut Paid Leave (CTPL) program is administered by the CT Paid Leave Authority. The Paid Leave Authority accepts applications for paid leave benefits, reviews those applications and if approved, administers benefits to eligible employees, those who are self-employed and sole proprietors. Employers will be informed when an employee applies for benefits through the Connecticut Paid Leave program; however there is no official process for an employer to contest a claim. Employees who meet the eligibility criteria and substantiate the need for leave benefits and the amount of the benefits will receive paid leave benefits. For more information, click here: https://ctpaidleave.org/s/frequently-asked-questions?language=en_US
The CT Department of Labor recently created a webinar explaining the overlap of many new laws and their application beginning January 1, 2022. You can access the webinar by clicking here: https://youtu.be/dm4xTXCh2mQ