Paid Family Medical Leave for CTJune 1, 2019
Today is a great day for Connecticut. After many hours of debate over the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) legislation, my colleagues and I were able to pass the bill, which the Senate had already approved. The bill now goes to the governor.
The Family and Medical Leave Insurance program created by the legislation 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 in the end all of our 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.