State news

Conn. paid family medical leave program surpasses initial projections

The Connecticut Paid Leave Authority has registered 108,911 businesses and collected more than $102 million in first quarter contributions for Connecticut’s newly established paid family and medical leave program, surpassing initial projections.   The authority had set a goal of registering 104,000 businesses. 

Businesses began registering for the program on January 1st. Paid leave benefits will become accessible to qualified workers across the state beginning January 2022.

Paid Leave Authority CEO Andrea Barton Reeves said the authority will now focus on identifying and reaching out to the small businesses that do not meet the Department of Labor definition of businesses because they have fewer than ten employees. Those businesses are also required to withhold on behalf of employees. While many have already registered, Barton Reeves said the authority will work to ensure they have communicated with as many as possible.

The program is 100% employee funded through payroll deductions of half a percent from employee paychecks. Withholding began on January 1.

Employees who are eligible for up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period must have earned $2,325 in the highest earning quarter of the past five quarters, must be currently employed or previously employed, and working in the state during the 12 weeks immediately preceding the leave request.

Qualifying reasons include birth of a child or placement of a child for adoption or foster care; caring for your health or that of a loved one or family member; serving as an organ or bone marrow donor; caring for a family member injured in military active duty; or being impacted by family violence.

Barton Reeves says business cooperation with this new process has been extraordinary and workers across Connecticut who will be eligible for paid leave next year will be the beneficiaries. 

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