Labor Committee Approves Paid Sick Leave Expansion Bills

Issues & Policies

The legislature’s Labor and Public Employees Committee approved three bills March 21 that expand the state’s paid sick leave law to all employers, regardless of industry.  

After more than two hours of debate, the committee passed SB 7, SB 12, and HB 5005 on party line, 8-4 votes.

While slightly different, the three bills mandate that all employers, regardless of industry, with one or more employees provide up to 40 hours of annual paid sick leave.

HB 5005, which originally proposed a study of the issue, was amended to incorporate the language from HB 5166 and features a phased implementation: 

  • Jan. 1, 2025 for businesses with 25 or more employees 
  • Jan. 1, 2026, for employers with 11 or more employees, 
  • Jan. 1, 2027, employers with one or more employees

October Implementation

SB 7 and the Governor’s proposal, SB 12, require employers to provide paid sick leave by Oct. 1, 2024, with employees accruing paid sick time at a rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked. 

The three bills differ slightly on when an employee can take paid sick leave, ranging from 100 to 180 calendar days of employment.

Committee co-chair Sen. Julie Kushner (D-Danbury) noted that the provision was designed to account for probationary periods that are common practice in many workplaces. 

Two of the bills require employers to provide paid sick leave by Oct. 1, 2024. 

All bills include an exemption for construction-related entities that participate in multi-employer health plans, as agreed upon in collective bargaining agreements.  

During the committee meeting, each bill was amended to include the definition of family as created in the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act.

CBIA opposed the bills, sharing with committee members that the state’s labor shortage is driving private sector companies to overhaul employee benefits and wages. 

High-Cost State

CBIA’s 2023 Survey of Connecticut Businesses found that 27% of employers offer flexible work scheduling, 16% offer flexible paid time off policies, and 92% provide health insurance as part of the benefit package.

Many small companies already offer paid time off to support employee recruitment and retention. 

Companies that cannot offer paid time off are at a significant disadvantage.

Simply because a state statute doesn’t require them to offer paid sick leave, doesn’t mean companies are not offering it.

America's Top States for Business 2023, CNBC, Connecticut
Connecticut is the eighth costliest state in the country for job creators.

These mandates will have significant unintended consequences to the state’s most vulnerable businesses.

Connecticut employers are also at a significant competitive disadvantage given the state’s high cost of business—eighth highest in the country based on CNBC’s 2023 America’s Top States for Business study.

While these bills differ slightly, the end result is the same. These bills are bad for Connecticut’s job creators as they:

  • Increase the cost of doing business 
  • Put small businesses on the same playing field as large corporations
  • There has been no evidence that the law has resulted in less employee turnover or illness in the workplace 
  • Connecticut already has the most generous paid family and medical leave program in the nation 

Does paid sick leave hurt your business? Tell your state lawmakers to say NO to Additional Mandates on Small Businesses!

For more information, contact CBIA’s Ashley Zane (860.244.1169) | @AshleyZane9.


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