Yesterday, one of the measures floating around the Connecticut General Assembly regarding Paid Family Medical Leave passed a key committee vote.
The bill still has a ways to go. Indeed, as first reported by CT News Junkie, even the speaker of the house described it as a “work in progress”. But now that’s closer to passage, it’s time employers start focusing on some of the key aspects – as framed currently.
The bill (House Bill 5387) would require all private sector employees to contribute 0.5 percent of their paycheck to a fund that they could then use if they needed to take Family Medical Leave. The leave could last up to 12 weeks and the pay would be capped at up to $1,000 per week.
The bill would radically change existing Connecticut FMLA by changing the number of employees required to be eligible for FMLA leave from 75 employees to just two. It would also, however, change the leave calculation period to be on a 12 weeks per 12 months basis, instead of the 16 weeks over 24 months basis that has been a challenge to reconcile with federal FMLA.
The bill would also expand allowable leave under FMLA to caring for grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, all other blood relatives, or those with a “close association … the equivalent of a family member.” This is far in excess of just the relatives covered under current law.
And if you’re wondering, there is no definition as to what would be “equivalent” to a family member.
As to the prospects for the bill, the CBIA has been opposed to it, in part because it’s not applicable to the public sector — and raises costs for both the state and for private employers. A similar bill in the Senate was rejected by the committee because it would have required the state to commit to $20M in bonding.
But again, employers should be mindful of this bill as the short legislative session begins to wind down in the next few weeks.