Connecticut Workers Begin Applying for Paid FMLA
Connecticut workers filed more than 500 applications for paid family and medical leave benefits Dec. 1, the day the state began accepting requests under a mandate enacted by the legislature in 2019.
The Connecticut Paid Leave Authority will begin paying benefits from Jan. 1, 2022. Claims made now must be for qualifying events happening on or after that date.
Under legislation narrowly approved by the General Assembly, most private sector employers must deduct 0.5% from employee wages to fund the paid FMLA program.
More than 123,000 businesses have registered with the authority—as mandated—with over $300 million in employee payroll taxes remitted to the paid FMLA fund since January this year.
Workers are eligible for up to 12 weeks of paid leave for a number of qualifying reasons, including a serious health condition of an employee or their family member, as well as a birth or adoption, among other life events.
Connecticut’s paid leave program features the richest benefits of any state in the country, capped at 60 times the state’s hourly minimum wage, which will be $13 in January 2022, or $780 a week.
When the state’s minimum wage hits $15 in 2023, the weekly benefit will increase to $900.
Employees apply for benefits through the authority on their own, but are generally required to inform their employer 30 days in advance of their expected leave.
The authority will reach out to employers directly to complete verification forms before applications are approved.
Once an employer receives notice, or learns a person is going to take paid FMLA, the employer must provide the employee with their rights and responsibilities under the law within five business days of the request.
There may also be medical certification forms that an employer will give to an employee with rights and responsibilities.
Rights and Responsibilities
An employee then has 15 calendar days to complete the forms and return them to the employer.
Once an employer receives notice, they must provide the employee with their rights and responsibilities within five business days.
Once an employer receives those forms, they have five business days to determine if the request qualifies and notify the employee (in writing again) that the time off is designated as FMLA.
Employers can apply for an exemption from the state program if they offer employees a private plan with all of the same rights, protections, and benefits as the state.
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