Paid Sick Leave Questions Abound

So, four months in, how is Connecticut Paid Sick Leave (PSL) working out? Well, for towns, not so well as this recent article pointed out.

But as Connecticut employers start running through the issues, some novel and unforseen issues keep popping up. I’ll address one of them here. But before you read it, make sure you understand the basics of the law and review the CTDOL’s guidance on the matter.  Consider this post Advanced PSL for Human Resources.

Here’s the issue:  Employer offers Paid Time Off in lieu of PSL.  But in order to qualify under state law, the PTO must meet the floor established by PSL.  That means, according to the CTDOL, that service workers can carryover up to 40 hours of PTO a year (just like the PSL provisions).

But how does that work for PTO where the employee may be taking time off for vacation, and not specifically, because he or she was sick?

In multiple discussions with the CTDOL over the last few months, it appears that the agency has settled on a straightforward response based on three examples.  (Of course, should you have an employer-specific questions, your best approach is still to contact the CTDOL for clarification.)

Example 1: Employer offers 5 days PTO.  Employee uses all 5 days during the year (for vacation or any other purpose).  Employee does not get to carryover any days.

Example 2: Employer offers 10 days PTO.  Employee uses 5 days PTO (for vacation or any other purpose).  Employee is entitled to carryover 5 PTO days.

Example 3: Employer offers 10 days PTO.  Employee uses 7 for “vacation” and 2 days to care for a sick son.  Employee is only entitled to carryover 1 PTO (not 3).

As always, this post should not be a substitute for legal counsel.  Be sure to consult with your corporate counsel to determine if your company’s PTO policy is in compliance with this new PSL law.