Let me preface what I’m about to say with a huge caveat: I’ve seen no empirical studies or surveys of employers to determine whether or not they are complying with the updated Connecticut FMLA law.
But having gotten that out of the way, I remain concerned that there are a ton of small employers out there that are not aware of the obligations they may have under the CTFMLA law.
In case you somehow missed it, effective January 1, 2022, the CTFMLA was amended to cover to employers with one or more employees, including the State of Connecticut. (It still does not apply to municipalities, local or regional boards of education, or nonpublic elementary or secondary schools (unless the employee is a school paraprofessional).)
Employees of these employers who have been employed for at least three months are eligible to then take up to 12 weeks protected leave for a qualifying condition.
That represents a huge change from the prior law.
Even if these smaller employers understand that they may be subject to the new law, implementing the law requires some expertise as well. Employers should provide the employees with notices of the employee’s eligibility as well as medical certification forms for the employee (and medical provider) to fill out as well. These forms can be found here.
Thankfully the Connecticut Department of Labor has prepared a (relatively) easy to understand FAQ on the updated CTFMLA law that small employers would be wise to consult here.
Beyond having to provide for unpaid protected leave, small employers should also be aware that they should be complying with the CT Paid Leave law as well. This law provides that employers shall withhold a certain amount from employee’s pay and send it to the state for the paid leave benefits. If an employee is out on an eligible leave, the employer should provide employees with notice of their rights to seek benefits from the state as well.
Somewhat confusingly (for those that don’t do this every day), CT Paid Leave is run through a separate authority. The authority has a new leader Erin O’Brien Choquette, who previously served as the authority’s COO and General Counsel. Attorney Choquette gave a number of presentations on the subject and is well-versed in the nuances in the law. I look forward to the continued communications from the authority under Attorney Choquette’s leadership.