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Do You Have 50 Employees For Purposes of the Connecticut Paid Sick Leave Act? On January 1, 2015, You May Have to Recount!

On January 1, 2015, changes to Connecticut’s Paid Sick Leave Act (“Sick Leave Act”) will go into effect.  These modifications are a result of Governor Dannel Malloy’s signing into law an amendment (“Amendment”) on June 6, 2014.  Two of the key developments are the method for determining whether or not an employer is exempt from providing paid leave and the time within which sick leave is accrued.

The Sick Leave Act previously required any Connecticut employer who employed 50 employees in any quarter during the previous year to pay sick leave.  As of January 1, 2015, the week encompassing October 1 of the previous year will be the week which determines employee head count for the current year.  Of course, an employer cannot go around firing employees the week before October 1 to fall below the threshold, or else it will find itself in trouble.  The Amendment provides: “(f) No employer shall (1) terminate any employee, (2) dismiss any employee, or (3) transfer any employee from one worksite to another solely in order to not qualify as an employer, as defined in section 31-57r, as amended by this act.”

In addition, the Amendment permits employers to use their own fiscal year rather than the calendar year for accrual of sick leave.  Specifically, the Amendment states that the definition of a year “means any three-hundred-sixty-five-day period used by an employer to calculate employee benefits.”

While these changes are helpful to employers who have a fluctuating head count and who work off of a fiscal year different from the calendar year, if you are unsure whether or not your employment practices comply with the Paid Sick leave and the Amendment, you should consult legal counsel.

Brody and Associates regularly advises management on complying with the latest state and federal employment laws.  If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or 203.965.0560.