Late last week, the Connecticut House approved Senate Bill 710 (S.B. 710) which makes some important changes to the state FMLA law to bring it more in line with the federal family and medical leave act rules as they relate to military caregiver leaves of absences.  

I’ve covered the bill in a post earlier this month and nothing has changed since the Senate passed it.  The bill now moves on to Governor Rell for her approval. 

Importantly, the provisions of this bill will be effective immediately upon the governor’s signature.  

The core provision of the bill (you can download the text here) is the creation of a one-time leave related to injured armed forces members.

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. 

This measure will only apply to those employers who are already covered under state FMLA rules. (You can read my prior posts about state FMLA rules here.)

Employers should immediately start revising their FMLA policies to ensure compliance with this new state law.  This may require revising some forms as well to document the leave.  Note that this will not be that different from what has been implemented at the federal FMLA level, but because many employers in Connecticut are still unaware of those provisions, this new state law should serve as a wakeup call to get the policies updated now.