House Approves Paid Sick Leave Expansion

Issues & Policies

In a vote with costly implications for small businesses, the state House approved a sweeping expansion of Connecticut’s paid sick leave mandate April 25.

HB 5005, one of four paid sick leave measures introduced this legislative session, mandates that all Connecticut employers provide up to 40 hours of annual leave.

Current law, which took effect in 2011 and was the first such mandate in the country, requires that businesses with 50 or more employees in designated service occupations provide paid sick leave.

HB 5005 passed on an 88-61 vote after almost six hours of debate, with nine Democrats—Jill Barry (D-Glastonbury), Pat Boyd (D-Pomfret), Michelle Cook (D-Torrington), Jamie Foster (D-Ellington), Rachel Khanna (D-Greenwich), Stephen Meskers (D-Greenwich), Christopher Poulos (D-Southington), Jonathan Steinberg (D-Westport), and Kerry Wood (D-Rocky Hill)—joining all Republicans present in opposition.

Introduced as a study bill, HB 5005 was amended in the legislature’s Labor and Public Employees Committee to incorporate language from HB 5166.

Gov. Ned Lamont praised House passage of HB 5005 and said he would sign the legislation if it gains Senate approval.

Staged Implementation

Two other paid sick leave measures—SB 7 and SB 12, the Lamont administration’s proposal—are also before the state Senate.

HB 5005 stages implementation of the leave mandate based on the size of the employer:

  • Jan. 1, 2025 for employers with 25 or more employees
  • Jan. 1, 2026, for employers with 11 or more employees
  • Jan. 1, 2027, for employers with one or more employees
Nine Democrats joined all Republicans present in opposing HB 5005.

It exempts seasonal workers, those who work less than 120 days per year, and members of construction-related trade union organizations that are parties to multiemployer health plan arrangements.

Section 3 of the bill also exempts self-employed individuals, while section 4 exempts employees covered by collectively bargained family care and personal care agreements.

Companies that already offer at least 40 hours of paid time off per year in the form of vacation, personal time, or other leave are considered to be in compliance and not required to offer additional leave. 


Employees will accrue one hour of paid time off for every 30 hours worked, capped at 40 hours leave annually. 

While the bill language establishes leave eligibility based on illness, treatment, medical appointments, and mental health days, it also mandates that employers cannot request verifying documentation from employees.

Employees begin accruing leave on their first day of work, although they cannot take leave, which can be used in any increment of an employee’s choosing, until the 120th calendar day of employment.

Should an employee be moved to a new department or position under the same employer, they retain all accrued benefits. 

The bill mandates that employers cannot request verifying documentation from employees taking paid sick leave.

If an employee is terminated and rehired at a later date, they are not eligible to use any unused benefits, with the accrual reset. 

Nothing in the bill requires an employer from paying out any unused sick time unless it is in their employee handbook.    

The bill allows employees to carry over up to 40 hours of unused sick time from the prior year, but annual paid leave is capped at 40 hours, regardless of how many hours are carried over.  

The bill also requires employers to retain records for three years of the accrual and usage of paid sick time. 

HB 5005 creates a taskforce to study ways to mitigate compliance and implementation costs for employers with fewer than five employees.


CBIA strongly opposed HB 5005, noting its negative impact on small businesses given the onerous one-size-fits-all approach.

CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima called the bill “yet another unfortunate example of policymakers making it more burdensome for small businesses to operate in Connecticut.”

“For a long time we really honored and protected those small businesses, those micro-businesses with less than 15 employees, less than 25 employees,” he said.

“This continues a discouraging trend over recent legislative sessions with a series of costly mandates that disproportionately target small businesses, the heartbeat of our economy.

“Businesses now unfortunately have to have their head on a swivel because there are more laws being passed that impact them in a negative way.”

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


1 thought on “House Approves Paid Sick Leave Expansion”

  1. Peter Sachs says:

    The reality for small & mid sized businesses is that if you do not offer benefits like sick days, you will. have a more difficult time recruiting, hiring & competing for quality employees. 

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