Over the last few months Connecticut has been addressing the issue of medical leave.
Over the last few months Connecticut has been addressing the issue of medical leave. For many years the Connecticut Family Medical Leave Act has helped ensure job security for those who are facing a medical condition. This protection was also extended to someone who must care for an immediate family member or qualifying individual. Under the new legislations, Family Medical Leave would be paid and expanded which means significant changes that will affect both employees and employers.
How and when will the program be funded?
Starting on January 1, 2021 the state will impose the contribution requirement. It is set to be at a rate of .5% on wages up to the amount of earnings subject to social security taxes. Based on 2019 numbers, that would mean the maximum an individual would contribute is $664.50. The program will begin to pay benefits in January of 2022 and if the contributions do not sufficiently fund the program, benefits will be reduced from the planned sliding scale and $900 weekly cap. Alternatively, employers have the ability to provide a private plan that meets minimum requirements in lieu of employees contributing to the FMLA program.
How is it expanding?
Under previous legislation only employers with 75 or more employees were subject to the rules. The new FMLA will now cover private-sector employers with at least one employee. It will also reduce length of employment requirement for the employee, remove the hours worked requirement, add additional qualifying family members, and extend the length of leave allowed to 12 weeks over a 12-month period with additional time in certain circumstances. Some small businesses are going to face challenges in temporary staffing for those out on leave. One relief is that their Connecticut unemployment rate will not increase when they layoff the temporary worker at the return of the employee on leave.