The first-in-the-nation paid sick leave mandate bill (SB 913) that passed the state Senate this week not only flies in the face of efforts to help stimulate job creation in Connecticut, it also opens up numerous employers with a sick leave policy to a new cause of action from employees who could allege retaliation if the employer seeks to deny or question the use of leave time.

Company leave policies would come under the scrutiny of the state Department of Labor (DOL

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The paid sick leave bill passed the Senate by an 18-17 margin and now goes to the House of Representatives. Lawmakers voting for the proposal may have been under the impression that the proposal only impacts certain businesses.

The bill’s fine print says otherwise.

Although proponents amended the bill to cover only “service” workers, it affects all companies with 50 or more employees who have at least one of 60 job titles (and, the business is not a manufacturer).

Typical job classifications that would bring a company under the mandatory paid sick leave law include office administrators, clerical staff and date entry processors.

Manufacturers classified in sectors 31, 32 or 33 in the North American Industrial Classification System are exempted from the mandate provision.  

The mandate and retaliation provisions open up a Pandora’s Box of issues in addition to harming Connecticut’s business climate.

For example, how does a company enforce their prohibitions against using sick time to extend holidays and vacations without offending the retaliation provisions of the bill?

Why can’t an employer request a doctor’s note from a sick employee unless that employee has been out three or more consecutive days?

How can an employer monitor or manage suspected abuse of sick leave policies without running afoul of the law’s provisions?

These are questions that businesses—and state representatives—should be paying close attention to. Mandatory paid sick leave passed the Senate despite the full story of its impact not really being understood.

That can’t be said any longer. Connecticut cannot afford this bill nor the negative marker it places on the state’s economy and business climate. 

For more information, contact CBIA’s Kia Murrell at 860.244.1931 or kia.murrell@cbia.com.