New Paid Family and Medical Leave Act in Connecticut

November 9, 2020
New Paid Family and Medical Leave Act in Connecticut

Connecticut employers need to start planning for the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA), a law that mandates all private employers with Connecticut employees to grant paid leave to eligible employees.

The Connecticut Paid Leave program is expected to launch on January 1, 2021, making the new website a critical tool for knowing their responsibilities and duties for all impacted employees, employers, sole proprietors, and self-employed people. The benefits of the Paid Leave program will become available to eligible employees starting from January 1, 2022.

Administering and Funding the CTPL Program

The CTPL program is managed by a newly created quasi-public agency, Connecticut (CT) Paid Leave Authority. The CTPL is 100 percent financed by employees and self-employed volunteers. Employees will finance the CTPL initiative by contributing 0.5 percent of their wages through a compulsory payroll deduction. The PFMLA does not require employers to contribute to the program.

Employees of the state government who belong to unions are also excluded. The employers are accountable for maintaining each employee's payroll deductions and sending the funds to the CT Paid Leave Authority quarterly. In addition to the necessary withholdings, an employer's failure to submit contributions can result in an assessment of penalties.

The CT Paid Leave Authority also accepts applications, reviews and approves applications, and handles eligible employee benefits. Employees would need to apply for paid leave benefits both to their employers for time away from work and to the CT Paid Leave Authority. In order to determine the reason for the leave or to check the duration and frequency of the leave, it would probably be important for the employee, employer, and the Paid Leave Authority to communicate.

Registering With the CT Paid Leave Authority in November 2020

Starting in November 2020, covered employers would need to register with the CT Paid Leave Authority in order to create their accounts. Wage deduction collection shall commence on 1 January 2021. Employers should need to consider contacting their payroll provider or tax advisor before 1 January 2021 to ensure compliance. Starting on January 1, 2022, workers are entitled to receive benefits.

Qualifying for an Exemption

Covered employers can apply for an exemption if they wish to provide private schemes offering all of the same rights, protections, and benefits" to all employees as provided for in the CTPL program. This application process is currently being established by the CT Paid Leave Authority.

The employer must have a private plan in order to be entitled to an exemption from making the payments to the CT Paid Leaving Authority:

  • Provide at least the same no. of weeks of benefits
  • Give at least the same amount of salary replacement for each week of benefits
  • Do not contain special terms and conditions
  • Deduct the same percentage of amount from the paychecks of the employee as the state plan
  • Cover all employees for the time they work.
  • Apply to both existing and potential employees at your company
  • Be accepted by most of the employees
  • Remain consistent with any additional conditions set by the Authority for CT Paid Leave
  • Even though employers can apply for an exemption, it is not appropriate for individual employees to opt-out of making required contributions.

The employer who has been given an exemption is not required to collect a salary deduction. Instead, the employer can deduct up to 0.5% of its employees' salaries in order to finance a private plan, but it is not necessary to do so.

If you still have doubts about the new law for paid family and medical leave, you can get in touch with the Law Firm in New Haven, CT

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