For the second straight year, the legislature’s Commerce Committee has raised a bill that would make commonsense reforms to the state’s paid sick leave mandate.
Mandatory paid sick leave applies to certain “service industry” employers in the state with more than 50 employees. Responding to the concerns of the business community, the bill would change the mandate by providing employers with flexibility in how the law is administered.
For example, the Commerce Committee proposal:
- Allows accumulation of the paid sick leave benefit to be tracked on a fiscal year, or any other 365-day basis–just the same as other employee benefits. (Current law restricts it to a calendar-year basis.)
- Clears up some confusion related to the exemption for manufacturers.
- Changes how an employer determines the number of employees in the business. Current law requires an employer to count all the employees they’ve employed over a calendar quarter. This means employers would have to report employees no longer on their payroll as a result of natural fluctuations in the workforce. This can make employers subject to the paid sick leave mandate even if they’ve never had more than 49 employees at a given time.
The Commerce Committee proposes using the same employee-accounting method as the one used to determine whether an employer is subject to the Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) law.
While the Commerce Committee proposal is good for Connecticut because it will eliminate some confusion as well as a separate system of record keeping, it appears that the Labor Committee will be putting forth a different measure that would expand the paid sick leave mandate to some persons not currently covered by the law.
Lawmakers should be looking at ways, such as the Commerce Committee proposal, to make Connecticut more economically competitive.