In January 2012, Connecticut became the first state to require employers of 50 more employees to provide paid sick leave to each of their in-state, full or part-time service workers.
Service workers are defined in the legislation as a list of more than 60 job titles and functions, including data processors, restaurant and food service workers, security guards, and front desk personnel.
Under the law, a service worker accrues one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked.
Employers are required to allow workers to accrue 40 paid sick leave hours in a single calendar year, equivalent to five work days.
Unused paid sick leave may be carried over to the next calendar year, but workers are not entitled to use more than five days in any single year.
Manufacturers, nationally chartered nonprofit organizations that provide recreation, child care and education services; and employers with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from the paid sick leave mandate.
When a manufacturing enterprise has numerous facilities or establishments, manufacturing establishment workers will be exempt, while non-manufacturing establishment service workers will be covered.
For example, where a facility’s primary business activity involves research, sales, distribution, warehousing, administrative work, etc., service workers at that establishment will be entitled to paid sick leave
Connecticut's paid sick leave law was amended in 2014, with the legislature making several changes:
- An employer now determines if it meets the annual 50-employee threshold based solely on the number of employees on its payroll for the week containing October 1. For example, if an employer has 50 employees on its payroll on Monday, September 28, 2015, it must provide paid sick leave in 2016.
- It is unlawful for an employer to fire, dismiss, or transfer an employee in order to avoid meeting the 50-employee threshold.
- Employees now accrue one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked during whatever 365-day year the employer uses to calculate employee benefits. This allows employers to start the benefit year on any date, rather than only on January 1. The modification is notable because many employers felt they were forced by the original law to change their leave policies to align with the calendar year. Employers who provided lump-sum leave allotments or started accruals on an employee anniversary or at the beginning of a fiscal year felt obliged to change those policies and timekeeping systems to be consistent with the Act even if they offered leave exceeding the statutory requirement.
- Extended paid sick leave benefits to radiologic technologists by adding them to the list of “service workers.”