Connecticut Expands Permitted Uses of Paid Sick Leave
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed a new law that expands the circumstances in which workers can use state-mandated paid sick leave, effective October 1, 2023.
The Connecticut Paid Sick Leave Law, originally passed in 2012, provides “service workers” with certain leave entitlements, including paid sick leave. This leave accrues at a rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked, up to a maximum accrual of 40 hours per year. The law also requires service workers be permitted to roll over at least 40 hours of accrued, unused paid sick leave per calendar year.
“Service workers” are employees in certain occupations on a specific list of code numbers and titles from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics Standard Occupational Classification system. The list of occupations is long and includes workers from nurse practitioners to crossing guards. In other words, most employees are covered, if they are otherwise eligible.
The law only covers employers with at least fifty employees in Connecticut. Certain employers are exempt, such manufacturers and certain non-profits.
Prior to the new law, eligible service workers were only able to use the paid sick leave in the following circumstances:
- For a service worker’s injury, illness, or health condition, the medical diagnosis, care or treatment of mental illness or physical illness, injury or health condition, or preventative medical care for the service worker;
- For a service worker’s child’s or spouse’s injury, illness, or health condition, the medical diagnosis, care or treatment of mental illness or physical illness, injury or health condition, or preventative medical care for the service worker;
- For the medical care or obtainment of other qualifying services or legal proceedings if the service worker is a victim of family violence or sexual assault.
The new law adds two circumstances in which a worker may use their paid sick leave:
- For a mental health wellness day, which is defined as “a day during which a service worker attends to such service worker’s emotional and psychological well-being in lieu of attending a regularly scheduled shift.”
- For the medical care or obtainment of other qualifying services or legal proceedings if the service worker’s child is a victim of family violence or sexual assault.
What should you do?
Employers subject to Connecticut’s mandatory sick leave law should update their handbooks to include the new circumstances in which employees may take their paid sick leave. Employers who offer paid time off to substitute for paid sick leave may still do so, but HR should be briefed on the new eligible circumstances in case any issues arise.
Brody and Associates regularly advises management on complying with the latest local, state, and federal employment laws. If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203.454.0560