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Taking Time Off for Sick Child

Can my boss discipline me for taking time off if my child is sick?

 No, if you have accrued paid sick time off under Connecticut’s Paid Sick Leave Law or if you are entitled to unpaid leave pursuant to either the Federal or Connecticut Family Medical Leave Acts (“FMLA”).

Connecticut’s Paid Sick Leave Law protects service workers who take paid time off to care for ill children or who need to take their children for preventative medical care. To qualify for it you must: (1) work for a covered employer with at least 50 employees; (2) have worked for the employer for at least 680 hours (usually that’s about 17 weeks worked); and (3) have worked an average of at least 10 hours/week in the most recent complete calendar quarter. However, the Paid Sick Leave law does not cover you if your employer provides other paid leave (such as paid vacations) that is earned at least at the same rate as the Paid Sick Leave Law.

If you qualify for Connecticut’s Paid Sick Leave Law, you accrue up to 5 days in a calendar year, earned at a rate of 1 hour of paid sick leave for each 40 hours worked. Once accrued, you can take up to 2 weeks in a year to care for a sick child. If your child suffers from a serious health condition and you need to take more than two weeks off, or if you are not a service worker entitled to Connecticut’s Paid Sick Leave Law, you may use Federal or Connecticut Family Medical Leave (if you are eligible), which could give you up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a year or up to 16 weeks off without pay in a 24-month period.

If you think you have been unlawfully denied family leave or feel that you have been discriminated against for taking such leave, contact the

Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore.