Late last week, the Connecticut Senate approved a measure that would permit an employee to take up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave from work to care for family members who may have been injured in the line of military duty. The bill (Senate Bill 710) is now on the House’s calendar for a vote within the next few weeks; it is likely to be approved.
The bill mirrors many of the provisions that were implemented last year in revisions to the federal FMLA.
The Office of Legislative Research has done a good job summarizing the measure’s main provisions here.
Notably, the measure has different provisions for private sector workers and state employees, so as the bill progresses, this distinction ought to be reviewed.
The core provision of the bill, however, is the same for each — a one-time leave for each armed forces member per serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty. Employees who are immediate family members of those servicemembers or next of kin will be entitled to this leave. If there are any nuances between federal and state law, the more generous of the two benefits will apply.
In the meantime, employers should make sure their FMLA policies reflect the current state of the law and, if they do have any requests for leaves to care for injured servicemembers, employers should check back on the status of this bill — if they are not already covered under federal law.