Paid Family Leave Passes

May 31, 2019

After many hours of debate over Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the House of Representatives pass the bill which the Senate had already approved.

We are proud to assure CT families and workforce that we have their backs. This bill will provide some security like all the other industrialized countries provide their workforce, when they need to take care of their family members in sickness or for care of new babies. We will join 7 other states in being a premier setting for workforce talent, a destination for young families to stay and raise their children, with one more assurance that they are not risking bankruptcy when life’s health challenges strike.

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.

This has been a long, hard fight won, with determination and grit and opportunity for oversight and improvement as we implement. Let’s celebrate this win for all of CT’s workforce families. The bill will now be considered by the Governor.