It Pays to Be Sick

Connecticut broadens its paid sick leave law

June 11, 2024 Photo

On May 21, 2024, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont approved an expansive update to Connecticut’s Paid Sick Leave Law. The updated version significantly benefits employees and increases an employer’s obligations to provide paid sick leave.

Back in 2012, the Connecticut legislature prided itself on being the first state to implement a Paid Sick Leave Law. Since that time, 19 other states and Washington, D.C. followed suit in enacting similar paid sick leave laws, with some even surpassing Connecticut by enacting more encompassing laws. With this newly updated legislation, Connecticut once again joins the states that are leading the charge on requiring employers to provide substantial sick leave benefits to employees. 

The updated legislation makes significant changes to the breadth and scope of the current law. Most notably:  

  • The current version applies to employers with 50 or more employees but by Jan. 1, 2027, it will apply to all employers.  
  • The new law will also expand the nature and number of employees to which it applies, now including almost all employees with exceptions for seasonal employees or certain tradespeople.  
  • Likely driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, paid leave must be provided in instances when the employer is forced to close for public health concerns.  
  • An employee will now be provided paid sick leave benefits when taking leave to care for any legal spouse, sibling, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, or any other relation by blood or affinity where the circumstances show a close family relationship.  
    • Previously this was limited only to a “child” or “spouse,” defined as “husband or wife.”  
  • Employers are no longer permitted to seek documentation from an employee substantiating the reason for using paid sick time.  
  • Nor are employees required to give advance notice of their need for extended paid sick leave.  
  • While previously varying timeframes for length of employment needed to be reached for the law to apply to an employee, the new law provides a simple calculation–employees will be eligible for paid sick leave after the 120th calendar day of their employment. The calculation of sick time has also been simplified as an employee will accrue one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked.  
  • Lastly, employees will be much more knowledgeable about their rights and these laws in general.  Employees’ individual sick time will be provided to them on their pay stubs and the laws need to be conspicuously posted in the workplace and provided to remote workers.  

These new provisions are sure to impact nearly every employer in Connecticut–including predominantly out-of-state employers with even a few employees in Connecticut–and jurisdictions beyond as the states jockey to maintain a consistency with employee friendly laws. Employers, be sure you’re prepared when your company becomes obligated to follow these new laws, work with attorneys, and start training your HR staff and managers now. 

This article originally appeared on Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP. 

About the Authors:

Jody N. Cappello is a partner at Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP.

Ryan Giggi is an associate at Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP.

About The Authors
Multiple Contributors
Jody N. Cappello

Jody N. Cappello is a Partner at Freeman Mathis & Gary.

Ryan Giggi

Ryan Giggi is an Associate at Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP.

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