Paid Family Leave Passes Among Other LegislationMay 31, 2019
SB 1, AN ACT CONCERNING PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE
We are the only developed country in the world that doesn't provide 12 weeks of paid family leave. After many hours of debate over the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) legislation, the House of Representatives passed the bill, which had already been approved by the Senate.
The Family and Medical Leave Insurance program will provide up to 12 weeks of wage replacement benefits for state residents needing to take time off for five reasons:
- Care for a new child (birth, adoption, foster)
- Care for family member with serious health condition
- Care for own serious health condition
- Qualifying exigency arising out of family member being on active duty
- To serve as an organ or bone marrow donor
If an employee experiences a pregnancy-related serious health condition that results in incapacity then the employee would be eligible for 14 weeks.
People considered as a family member include children, parents, spouses, domestic partners, grandparents, grandchildren and individuals related to the employee by blood or affinity whose close association the employee shows to be the equivalent of those family relationships.
The legislation will apply to private sector employers with one or more employees. Self-employed employees and sole-proprietors have the ability to opt-in to the program. In addition, non-union state and local government employees are covered. Unionized workers will have the ability to collectively bargain and become covered.
The program will cost $5.1 million to start up, and authorizes bonding funds for the IT infrastructure, which will be paid back by the program. There will be a 0.5 percent earnings deduction from every employee’s paycheck to continually fund this program.
It is a fact is that most working families in Connecticut have not had access to paid leave, but this legislation will change that and our entire state will benefit.
No one should have to choose between their family and a paycheck, and this legislation will help employers attract and retain talented workers.
The bill now goes to the Governor.
Thank you to all the advocates for their support and Representative Robyn Porter for her leadership in bringing out this bill on the House Floor!
SB 164, AN ACT INCLUDING CERTAIN MENTAL OR EMOTIONAL IMPAIRMENTS WITHIN THE DEFINITION OF "PERSONAL INJURY" UNDER THE WORKERS' COMPENSATION STATUTES
The bill will allow Police Officers and Firefighters eligible for full workers compensation benefits when a licensed and board certified mental health professional diagnosed the officer or firefighter with post-traumatic stress disorder and diagnosed that the PTSD originated from the seeing the death or maiming or its immediate aftermath.
2. SB 5, AN ACT ESTABLISHING A WORKFORCE PIPELINE AND JOB CREATION TASK FORCE
The bill would establish a workforce pipeline and job creation task force to prepare the state's future workforce for well-paying manufacturing and technical jobs located in Connecticut. Manufacturing is undergoing a resurgence in the State but there are not enough skilled workers or training programs to meet the need. More immediate and vital efforts should be made through the combined efforts of the State, businesses and academic communities.
It is important that we prioritize legislation that protects the well-being of our heroes that prioritize our safety and equip our youth with the necessary skills to join our workforce in the near future.