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Earlier this week, Governor Ned Lamont issued a press release supporting Senate Bill 12 which would dramatically expand the scope of the state’s current Paid Sick Leave law.

Currently, Paid Sick Leave is available to “service workers” at certain employers with 50 or more employees. Passed in 2011, the law requires that these workers receive and then be able to use up to 40 hours of paid sick leave that they accrue to take care of themselves, their spouse or children.

The proposed bill (which received a hearing but has not yet passed committee) would do away with some of the limits that are currently in play. This is not the first time a proposal like this has come up but given the Governor’s expression of support, one wonders if this is the year that it’s taken up in the full General Assembly.

So what would the bill do?

First, it would require virtually all employers to provide paid sick leave to employees in this state.

Second, it would expand the types of situations where an employee can use paid sick leave, to include situations where the employee is caring for a domestic partner, sibling, grandparent, grandchild or parent (or an individual standing “in loco parentis” to the employee).

Third, it would change the accrual rate for such leave. Currently, service workers accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked; the bill would change that to one hour for every 30 hours worked. The cap of 40 hours remains and an employee can still carryover up to 40 unused hours to the next year.

Fourth, it would change the date for when an employee can start the leave. Currently, an employee needs to work 680 hours to be able to use the leave. Under the bill, an employee can use any accrued leave on or after the 100th day of employment.

(The bill still allows employers who provide at least this amount of PTO or at the current rate, to fulfill the requirements of the bill without providing paid sick leave separately. Moreover, if the employer provides 40 hours of PTO at the start of any calendar year, the employer need not allow a carryover.)

Fifth, the bill would expand the situations in which an employee may use leave to also include situations where the employer is closed due to a public health emergency or the employee poses a threat to others due to a communicable illness.

The bill also adds exempt workers into its coverage and assumes that these employees will work 40 hours each work week unless their “normal work week” is less than 40 hours.

There are some other subtle provisions in the bill about notice and record keeping that, if passed, employers should be aware of.

For now, this is another bill that merits close consideration for employers. Employers that already offer 40 hours of PTO to their employees likely won’t have to make many changes, but those that do not, may have to modify their policies accordingly.

Stay tuned.