Navigating Paid Leave For Your Employees In CT
The US is one of the few nations that does not have federal policies guiding paid leave. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) only has provisions for unpaid leave.
Therefore, individual states have drafted regulations on paid leave. So far, only 16 states have such laws, which explains why only about 14% of workers receive paid family leave.
Connecticut (CT) is among the states that have passed paid leave law. As it’s hectic for an employer to keep abreast of the paid leave laws, keep reading to learn how to navigate paid leave in CT.
Workers apply to the CT Paid Leave Authority platform to get paid leave. These are some of the requirements they need to meet:
- Weeks covered: Up to 12 weeks for ordinary employees within 12 months, and two more weeks added to this for people with pregnancy complications.
- When to apply: Minimum 30 days before you start your leave, but the CT Paid Leave Claims Administrator may relax this rule in case of emergency leave.
- Qualification: The employee must have earned at least $2,325 in four of the past five quarters. Alternatively, an applicant must be employed within the past 12 weeks. Self-employed and sole-proprietors also qualify if they are residents of CT and enrolled in the program.
- Required documents: Birth certificate, employment verification (there’s a separate form for self-employed individuals/sole proprietors), bonding statement, and third-party authorization release form.
Developing a program for paid leave in CT
1. Identify legal requirements for offering paid leave
As an employer, you must determine what laws apply to employees. For instance, you are under no obligation for paid leave under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to employees who earned less than $2,325 in less than four of the past five quarters or to workers employed for less than 12 months.
2. Identify what type of leave employees will be eligible
Decide whether you offer separate benefits (sick, vacation, personal) or a combination of all three in a paid-time-off (PTO) plan.
- Sick leave: typically unplanned, given for unforeseen illness suffered by the employee or family member.
- Personal: For any reason, whether planned or unplanned, for short-term absence.
- Vacation: Provided for employees to take time off to relax, so employees must schedule for them in advance.
- PTO: May be planned or unplanned for any reason, and employers don’t have to monitor employees taking leave under this plan.
3. Educate workers about the paid leave
As an employer, the CT paid leave law requires you to notify employees if they qualify for leave. Additionally, inform them when they can use the company’s benefits policy for their leave and can apply for paid leave benefits by contacting Connecticut paid leave authority.
Therefore, educate employees on the type of paid leave benefits they are eligible for. Further, instruct your management team to understand the laws governing CT paid leave and how to guide employees through the paid leave process.
4. Calculate and collect premiums for paid leave in CT
It is your responsibility as an employer to collect the CT paid leave. Employees contribute a part of their wages to the CT Paid Leave Authority trust fund (one-half of 1%). You will attach a report on the same before submitting it to the state.
5. Identify paid leave eligibility
You will then have to determine how employees will earn the leave and how much leave time to provide. That could depend on several factors, such as length of service, time of the year, or position held. Once that’s done, you can establish when and how employees can take paid leave.
6. Ensure compliance
The easiest way is to have a centralized platform to deal with the employee’s paid leave. A paid leave compliance platform will also update you when there is new legislation to ensure you are always compliant.
Contact Health Consultants Group
To learn more about how you can help your employees with paid leave and other essential HR issues, visit our contact page or give us a call at (800) 367-2482.