On June 6, 2014, Governor Dannel P. Malloy amended the existing Connecticut Paid Sick Leave Statute. Paid sick leave allows workers to take time off from work to address their health and safety needs or, in some cases, to care for sick family members without losing pay. Connecticut was the first state to mandate paid sick leave policies for service workers in January 2012. The bill was not well defined and businesses demanded an amendment. Effective January 1, 2015, the new bill makes several key changes to the 2012 law, placing important limitations on employers.
Employers Who Must Provide Sick Leave
Under the current law, an employer must provide paid sick leave if it has employed fifty (50) or more employees in the state during any one quarter in the previous year, which is determined each year on January 1.
Who are “Service Workers”?
“Service worker” means an employee primarily engaged in an occupation with one of the broad or detailed occupation code numbers and titles, listed here, as defined by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics Standard Occupational Classification system or any successor system. This employee is paid on an hourly basis, and is not exempt from minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and the regulations promulgated thereunder, as amended from time to time. “Service worker” does not include day or temporary workers.
Under the current law:
- Eligible employees receive one (1) hour of sick leave for every forty (40) hours worked
- Part‐time service workers are included
- Hours worked must be “actual” hours worked—and do not include sick, vacation or other leave
- Time accrues in one (1) hour increments
- Maximum accrual required is forty (40) hours per calendar year
Employers Whose Employees are Not Covered by the Law
The law has a number of exemptions, including manufacturing businesses listed in sectors 31, 32, or 33 of the U.S. Department of Labor’s North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). For the full list click here.
Notice of Employee Rights
Employers must provide each employee with written notice of the employee’s right to sick leave. Employers may comply with notice provisions by displaying a poster in a conspicuous place, accessible to service workers, at the employer’s place of business. Click here to download a Poster for Employers (English) or (Spanish). This poster satisfies an employer’s notice obligation under the Paid Sick Leave law.
Major Changes to the Law
- Employers are prohibited from terminating, dismissing or transferring employees with the sole purpose of not qualifying as a covered employer under the law;
- Instead of using a calendar year as a means of accrual, employees will now accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked during whatever 365-day period the employer uses to calculate employee benefits. Thus, under the amendment, employers have the flexibility to begin computing employee benefits, including paid sick leave amounts, on any date, rather than only on January 1.
- The amendment extends the statute’s reach to radiologic technologists, who previously fell outside the law.
Next Steps for Employers
As a covered employer:
- You must comply with these changes by January 1, 2015.
- You should update your employee handbooks with this new policy if you are not already offering paid sick leave.
- If you border the 50-employee threshold, be mindful of these changes to the law. Be sure to carefully consider and document any changes or reductions in personnel to avoid impropriety and legal fees.
- You will be required to post notices prior to the January 1, 2015, effective date. If you are a client of HR Knowledge, please contact us at HR@hrknowledge.com to order your updated posting.
For more information or to contact the state directly with questions, please click here.
This content is provided with the understanding that HR Knowledge is not rendering legal advice. While every effort is made to provide current information, the law changes regularly and laws may vary depending on the state or municipality. The material is made available for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice or your professional judgment. You should review applicable law in your jurisdiction and consult experienced counsel for legal advice. If you have any questions regarding this advisory, please contact HR Knowledge at 508.339.1300 or email us at HR@hrknowledge.com.