Paid Family Leave Kick Off

February 18, 2016

Paid family leave is a critical issue affecting families and households statewide. I have heard stories of employees who show up to work sick, or can’t care for a sick child or a loved one at home because they simply can’t afford to lose wages. We need to find a way to support our valuable workers to allow for unforeseen medical emergencies without worrying about losing their jobs. I will be following this proposal closely. It is my understanding that this legislation would not be a burden to businesses because it would be funded by employee contributions.

In order to lend families some financial stability in already stressful situations, the Connecticut Campaign for Paid Family Leave is pushing for a bill that would establish a statewide Paid Family and Medical Leave program. The Campaign has the support of more than 60 organizations across the state.

The proposed legislation would establish a paid family and medical leave compensation program administered by the Labor Department and funded by a percentage contribution of the employee’s weekly earnings. The program would offer up to 12 work weeks of family and medical leave compensation to workers every year. The leave could be used to treat and recover from serious illnesses, to care for a seriously sick family member, or to care for a newborn.

Other states with similar laws include California, Rhode Island, and New Jersey.

In 1990, the Connecticut legislature recognized the need and became one of the first states to pass a Family and Medical Leave bill, which ensures workers can’t be fired for taking a leave for specific health and family care reasons.