Connecticut Family Leave
CT Family Medical Leave Act
The Connecticut Family Medical Leave Act is an important maternity leave law for parents working in the Nutmeg State. The law provides up to 16 weeks of job protected leave for certain categories of workers based upon hours worked, size of the employer, and employer classifications.
The Federal Family Medical Leave Act has similar provisions as the CT state law, but with subtle differences that can have a big impact on those families affected. Keep in mind these important considerations:
CT FMLA: Who is Covered & Key Provisions
The CT Family Medical Leave Act allows for 16 weeks of job protected leave during any 24 month period. You may request this leave for a variety of reasons including:
The 24 month period can be measured four ways: consecutive calendar years, any defined period of 24 consecutive months, a period measured beginning on your first day of leave, or a rolling 24 month period.
CT & Federal Family Leave Acts
The Family Medical Leave Act(FMLA) is a federal law and applies to workers in every state, whereas the Connecticut Family Leave Act (CFRA) applies to Connecticut workers only. When an employee and/or employer is subject to both regulations, the leave runs concurrently. Some key differences are summarized in the table below.
CT Paid Family Leave
Connecticut does not have paid family leave insurance. The CT family medical leave act provides for sixteen weeks of unpaid job protected leave. So how do couples afford to stay away from work during maternity leave, while disabled, or caring for a sick family member? There are a few options: sick leave, vacation days, and short term disability.
The State of Connecticut enacted a new law in January 2012, mandating that employers provide service workers with paid sick leave. Up to 2 weeks of accumulated sick leave hours can be used for an employee’s own illness, or to care for a serious health condition of a family member. Since the CT medical leave act allows for sixteen weeks of leave, you may find that fourteen weeks remain unpaid.
An eligible worker may utilize paid vacation days, and/or paid personal days.
The CT state law does provide leave for a worker’s own disability, making short term disability insurance the ideal way to provide paid leave. You can replace up to ⅔ of income with a private policy. CT does not have state mandated coverage. You might have a state mandated policy if you commute into NY or RI, but of course you would not be covered by the state family leave law as it applies to workers in the state, not residents.
Health Benefits and CT Family Leave
CT FMLA requires that eligible workers be restored to the same position of employment, or a corresponding work role, with equivalent employment benefits. Employment benefits are the programs made available to employees, including group life, health, and disability insurance, sick leave and pensions.
Notice that these "employment benefits" are restored upon returning to work? Restoration implies something was lost while on leave. Your time away from work may be unpaid, plus your expenses may rise sharply to cover the increase in premium costs for your health plan, and other coverage. This is a rather nasty surprise that can cripple many couples when it is least affordable.