What You Need to Know about the CT PFMLA
The Connecticut legislature passed the Connecticut Paid Family Medical Leave Act on June 25, 2019. When the PFMLA is fully implemented, it will pay income replacement benefits to your employees when they take time off work to care for themselves or family members. PFMLA is an insurance program. It pays covered employees with qualifying situations as defined by these existing laws.
- Federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA)
- Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act (CT FMLA)
- Connecticut Family Violence Leave Act
The PFMLA provides financial benefits that make the time off less of a financial burden.
With a few exceptions, every Connecticut employer with one or more employees must participate. If your company has a private program that offers family and medical leave benefits, you may apply for an exemption from Connecticut’s PFMLA program.
Self-Employed and Sole Proprietors
If you are self-employed or run a sole-proprietorship and you are a Connecticut resident, you may opt into the PFMLA. If you do, you must remain in the program for a minimum of three years. After three years, the PFMLA will automatically re-enroll you for one-year increments. If you choose to withdraw from the program, you must submit a request within 30 days of your expiration date.
To qualify for coverage, your employees must be Connecticut residents. They must also have earnings of at least $2,325 in the highest-earning quarter of the most recent five quarters. Your employees must also meet one of these employment statuses.
- Currently employed.
- Employed within the past 12 weeks
Certain categories of employees are not covered under the program.
- State of Connecticut employees who are union members
- Federal, municipal, or local governmental employees,
- Private elementary or secondary school employees
Paid Leave Benefits
Beginning in the fall of 2021, your employees with a qualifying situation may apply to the CT Paid Leave Authority for PFMLA benefits. The Authority will begin making income replacement benefits payments beginning January 1, 2022. Benefits are based on formulas outlined on the CTpaidleave.org website. Qualifying circumstances and benefits periods include:
- A serious personal or family health issue, up to 12 weeks of payments
- Childbirth, adoption, foster placement up to 12 weeks, additional 2 weeks for disabling illness during pregnancy
- A qualifying situation related to a family member’s service-related deployment, up to 12 weeks
- Organ or bone marrow donation, up to 12 weeks
- Dealing with family violence-related issues, up to 12 days
PFMLA defines a “qualifying family member” as a spouse, a sibling, a daughter or son, or other blood relatives. The list of family members also includes people with close relationships equivalent to family.
How the State Funds the PFMLA
In November 2020, covered businesses began registering their companies through the CT Paid Leave Authority. Beginning January 1, 2021, participating companies begin deducting contributions from their employee’s pay. Employee deductions total .05% of an employee’s salary up to the social security wage cap.
You or your plan administrator will make quarterly payments to the CT Paid Leave Authority based on the payroll deductions you’ve accumulated. Self-employed people and sole proprietors will make payments based on their estimated incomes. All funds collected will be held in a trust and managed by the Connecticut State Treasurer.
Contact Health Consultants Group
If you’d like to know more about the Paid Family Medical Leave Act, give us a call at (800) 367-2482 or visit our contact page.