The Connecticut Paid Leave Authority is launching a pilot program to help small businesses understand the state's paid family and medical leave mandate and simplify its administrative impact.

The authority began accepting benefit applications Dec. 1, and 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 in 2019, 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.

The authority is looking for companies with less than 75 employees to participate in a small business FMLA support pilot program. 

Under the program, four authority professionals will be assigned specifically to a group of small businesses to answer questions, and walk them through the process of managing leave requests. 

Interested employers with fewer than 75 employees should contact CBIA's Diane Mokriski, who will coordinate with the authority.