CT Employers Don’t Forget: Revisions to the CTFMLA and New PFMLA Effective January 1, 2022

As we have previously informed you here and here, two new changes to the Connecticut leave laws will go into effect on January 1, 2022.

There are two laws that Connecticut employers will need to understand.

1. The Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act (CTFMLA) has been substantially amended.

The CTFMLA provides an eligible employee job protected time off for the following qualifying reasons:

  • Birth of a child and care within one year of birth;
  • Placement of a child with employee for adoption or foster care;
  • Care for a family member with a serious health condition;
  • Employee’s own serious health condition;
  • To address qualifying exigencies arising from a son, daughter, parent or spouse’s active military duty;
  • To care for a son, daughter, parent, spouse, next of kin injured on active duty in the military;
  • To serve as a bone marrow or organ donor.

Some of the more substantial changes to the CTFMLA are as follows:

  • The law will now apply to most Connecticut employers with one or more employees (previously, the law applied to Connecticut employers with 75 or more employees);
  • The law will now allow up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12 month period. In addition, an employee may be eligible for 2 additional weeks of leave during the 12 month period for a serious health condition arising from an incapacity that occurs during pregnancy (previously, the law allowed for up to 16 weeks of leave in a 24 month period);
  • The law will now require that an employee work for the employer for 3 months with no hours requirement  to qualify for leave (previously the employee had to work for the employer for more than 12 months and had to have worked 1000 or more hours in the 12 months prior to the leave to qualify);
  • The law will now expand the definition of family member to include sibling, grandparent and individual related by blood or affinity whose close association to employee is equivalent to a covered relationship. The definition of family member will continue to include son/daughter (step, foster, adopted and legal ward), parent (step, foster, in-law, adopted);
  • The law now allows an employee to choose to keep up to 2 weeks of accrued PTO (previously the law allowed an employer to require that an employee use all available PTO during the leave).

The text of the law can be found here.

We believe that the Connecticut Department of Labor’s website will soon include more information on the amendments.

2. The Connecticut Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA) is a new law that applies to most Connecticut employers with one or more employees.

This law allows for up to 12 weeks of paid leave for an employee who is:

  • Experiencing a serious health condition;
  • Caring for a family member (as defined by the Act) experiencing a serious health condition;
  • Caring for a new child (by birth or adoption);
  • Experiencing an exigency arising out of a family member being on active duty;
  • Serving as an organ or bone marrow donor;
  • A victim of family violence.

PFMLA is not job protected leave, but it does allow for wage replacement for a portion of an employee’s wages while on leave. More information on the law and how wage replacement is calculated can be found here.

As discussed in our previous legal alerts, wage replacement is paid through payroll deductions that began in 2021.

What Should Employers Do Now?

Connecticut employers should do the following before January 1, 2022:

  • Review the new laws;
  • Update any existing leave policies affected by the PFMLA and the amended CTFMLA;
  • Draft new leave policies, if applicable;
  • Train relevant staff on the new/amended laws.

Questions?

If you have questions, please contact Pro Bono Partnership at information@probonopartner.org and include “CT Leave Question” in the subject line.


Update December 7, 2022:

The CT Department of Labor has updated some information regarding the CTFMLA since this legal alert was published. Some of the more substantial changes are listed below. Please contact Pro Bono Partnership if you have any questions.

  • The link to the CTFMLA forms can be found here: https://portal.ct.gov/DOLUI/newfmlaguidance#CT_Family_&_Medical_Leave_Forms
  • An employee requesting CTFMLA leave to care for an individual they consider “equivalent to a covered relationship” need only provide a written statement indicating as such in order to establish the relationship.
  • An employee may be eligible for a leave of absence to care for an adult child.
  • Employers must give notice to an employee who requests CTFMLA leave or may be eligible for a CTFMLA leave within 5 days of becoming aware of the request/potential need.

This document is provided as a general informational service to volunteers, clients, and friends of Pro Bono Partnership. It should not be construed as, and does not constitute, legal advice on any specific matter, nor does distribution of this document create an attorney-client relationship.

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