New parents in Connecticut often wonder how long maternity leave lasts and how much money they might get while bonding with a newborn or adopted baby.
There is no single correct answer to this question and could be 0, 4, 12, 13, 14, 25, or 26+ weeks depending on several variables.
First comes how long paid maternity benefits last, which has a wide range of possible outcomes – especially for the self-employed.
Second, comes the question of how long legal job protections last, which could be 0, 12, or 16 depending on your eligibility under two different laws.
Finally, many Connecticut parents commute out-of-state to jobs, and an entirely new set of workplace laws then apply.
How Long is Paid Maternity Leave in CT?
This first issue with a wide array of possible correct answers is how long paid maternity leave lasts in Connecticut. Income replacement benefits could continue for zero weeks to six months, depending on multiple variables.
For simplicity, we confine the discussion to parents that work in the state and, therefore, are eligible for CT-based benefits.
CT Paid Leave
Benefits for the Connecticut Paid Leave (CTPL) program can last for zero, twelve, or fourteen weeks depending on the circumstances and timing (after January 1, 2022).
- 0: for the self-employed, sole proprietors, and independent contractors who fail to enroll before taking time off from work
- 12: fathers taking paternity leave to bond with a newborn or adopted baby or to place a foster child in the home
- 14: mothers suffering a serious health condition resulting in incapacity during her pregnancy
The CPL amount varies depending on where your income falls relative to the minimum wage for a person working 8 hours per day.
Short-term disability for maternity leave in Connecticut also has many different outcomes. The state does not offer this program to workers in private industry, and circumstances often dictate benefit duration.
The correct answer to how many weeks that short-term disability lasts could be any of the following.
- Mothers who did not purchase a policy before becoming pregnant
- All fathers because they do not have a disabling health condition
- 6: Moms experiencing a healthy vaginal delivery
- 8: Mothers undergoing cesarean section birth
- Women suffering from pregnancy complications before birth
- Postpartum mothers requiring extra time to recover from labor
The short-term disability amount also varies quite a bit as the insurance companies limit benefits to 70% of income and charge higher premiums for better payouts.
How Long are Maternity Leave Job Protections in CT?
The second issue with a wide array of possible correct answers relates to the duration of legal job protections during maternity leave in Connecticut. Parents could take off zero, twelve, or sixteen weeks depending on eligibility under state and federal laws.
Again for simplicity, we confine the discussion to parents working in the state and subject to CT regulations.
The Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act provides unpaid legal job protections. Parents could have sixteen weeks of maternity leave if they work for a covered employer and meet the employee eligibility criteria.
- Covered Employer
- Private-sector employers with at least 75 employees in the state
- Eligible Employees
- Must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months
- 1,000 work-hours during the previous 12 months
The Federal Family and Medical Leave Act also provides unpaid legal job protections to parents who work in Connecticut but uses slightly different criteria. New moms and dads could have twelve weeks of maternity leave if they qualify under this federal regulation but not the state version.
- Covered Employers
- Private sector companies with 50+ employees in a 75-mile radius
- Government employers
- Federal agencies
- State government agencies
- Municipal employers
- Local or regional boards of education
- Private or parochial elementary or secondary schools
- Eligible Employees
- Worked 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months
- Have worked for the employer for 12 months
Connecticut parents could have zero weeks of maternity leave job protection if they do not qualify under federal or state laws. Many groups fall into this category.
- Small business employees with less than 50 workers
- Part-time workers logging less than 20 hours per week on average
- Job hoppers who began working for a new employer in the last 12 months
People who do not qualify for legal job protections under these two laws should consult their employee handbooks. Employers may offer extra benefits to attract and retain a competitive workforce – without laws compelling them.
Length of CT Maternity Leave for Commuters
The third issue with a wide array of possible correct answers applies to Connecticut parents who commute to out-of-state jobs. Workplace laws pertain to where you work rather than where you reside.
Therefore, you have to consult the laws in other states to determine how long your maternity leave lasts.
Many Connecticut parents living in the southern portion of the state commute into New York City via the Metro-North Railroad or by driving into Westchester County. Commuting is familiar for residents of Greenwich, Darien, Norwalk, New Haven, etc.
New York maternity leave laws apply to this group of commuters and provide benefits lasting twelve weeks to six months for many people.
- Mandatory short-term disability up to 6 months
- Paid family leave benefits
- 12 weeks of legal job protections for most private employers
Other Connecticut parents living in the northern part of the state might commute into Massachusetts to work in large metropolitan areas such as Springfield or Worchester.
Massachusetts maternity leave laws pertain to this commuter segment, and specific benefits could continue from eight to twenty-four weeks.
- Paid family leave lasting 12 to 20 weeks
- Parental Leave Act number of weeks varies based on the number of babies
- Singleton: 8
- Twins: 16
- Triplets: 24
Still, other Connecticut parents residing in the northeast corner of the state might commute into Rhode Island to work in Providence.
Rhode Island maternity leave laws apply to this group of commuters, and the benefits could last four or twenty-six weeks and several seven-day intervals in between.
- Temporary disability lasting up to 26
- Temporary Caregivers Insurance (TCI) continuing up to 4
- Parental and Family Medical Leave Act (PFMLA)
- 13 for fathers
- 25 for mothers
- 12 under FMLA (if eligible) for pregnancy disability
- 13 under PFMLA (if qualified) to bond with baby