In 2019, Connecticut lawmakers passed a state-based paid Family and Medical Leave Act (CT FMLA). Under the CT FMLA, qualifying employees are entitled to take paid time off for certain family and medical emergencies. In March of 2022, the Connecticut Department of Labor issued the long-anticipated final CT FMLA guidance. In this article, our Connecticut wage and hour lawyer explains the key things that workers need to know about the state’s new Family and Medical Leave Act (CT FMLA) regulations.
Duration of Leave: Up to 16 Weeks Per 24 Months
The final regulations rolled out by the Connecticut Department of Labor have changed the amount of potential leave under the CT FMLA. Under the new regulations, an eligible employee can take up to 16 weeks of paid family or medical leave per a 24 month period. The previous standard permitted a maximum of 12 weeks of leave per 12 months.
Employer Coverage: One or More Employees
One of the most important changes of the CT FMLA is that the reformed law dramatically increases the number of employers that are covered. Previously, an employer was only covered by the statute if it had 75 or more total workers. Now the CT FMLA applies to all employers with one or more employees. No matter how small your company is, your Connecticut employer is covered by the CT FMLA.
Worker Coverage: A Minimum of Three Consecutive Months of Work
You cannot take a job and then immediately file for paid leave under the CT FMLA through your new employer. In order to be eligible for CT FMLA through an employer, an employee must have worked at the firm for a minimum of three consecutive months.
Expanded Definition of “Family Member”
Under the new guidance, the definition of family member has been expanded to cover more people. The prior regulations only allowed employees to take leave to care for the medical needs of a child, spouse, or parent. The expanded definition of family member now includes grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, and anyone else with a close blood relationship or personal relationship.
Employees May Substitute Accrued Paid Leave (Or Decline to Do So)
Finally, the updated guidance from the Connecticut Department of Labor clarifies that workers have broad discretion to determine how to use their paid time off. If an employee has paid leave benefits from their employer, they can opt to use those benefits instead of CT FMLA. However, they are not required to do so. Ultimately, the employee may use their paid leave benefits as they see fit.
Get Help From Our Connecticut Wage and Hour Attorney Today
At Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, LLC, our wage and hour rights lawyers are tireless advocates for justice. If you believe that your rights were violated under the Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act, we can help. Contact us now for a strictly private case review. With offices in New Haven and Hartford, we handle wage and hour claims and other employment cases throughout the state.