Power is still out to big parts of the state, but here in Hartford, power is on and life continues. And so must the blog…

Back in June, when the Connecticut General Assembly approved of the paid sick leave bill, I was quick to note that the retaliation provisions in the bill seemed to apply to all employers, not just those covered by underlying provisions.

Sick Days are coming

It now appears that others are coming around to the same conclusion.

In last week’s Connecticut Law Tribune, an article titled, “Sleeper Issue In Sick Leave Bill – Workplace Retaliation” finally gets around to it.  Notably, it cites back to my original article.

It also cites confirmation from the Connecticut Department of Labor that I have been reading the broad anti-retaliation provisions correctly:

Connecticut Labor Department lawyer Heidi Lane said her office has been studying the new law from the start. “We’ve been examining it pretty much word for word, and in section 5 of the bill, it says, ‘No employer shall take retaliatory personnel action against an employee.’ Throughout the entire law, it’s always using the term ‘service worker.’ So where they’re actually saying ‘employee,’ they mean everyone.”

One of the questions raised, however, is how can the CTDOL enforce the anti-retaliation provision of a sick leave policy, when a particular employer may not have to have a policy because they do not fall within the fact otherwise.  The CTDOL says that it will use the employer’s existing policies.

A company need not have a paid sick leave policy expressed in so many words, Lane explained. Many employers give employees a set number of “PTO” or paid time off hours, for family emergencies or any reason at all. By implication, this includes time off for illness, and is a form of paid sick leave.

There’s a little over four months remaining until the new law goes into effect. If you and your company haven’t started thinking about the changes you may or may not need to make to your existing policies and practices, consider this article another incentive to do so.