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As I discussed in prior posts (here), the Senate on Monday approved a bill that will greatly expand the paid sick day law to large and small employers alike. Since it was previously approved by the House, it now goes to the Governor for his signature; he has previously indicated his willingness to sign the measure.

What Does the Law Currently Say: Generally, the current paid sick day law requires certain employers with at least 50 employees to provide certain employees who are “service workers” with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave annually.

What is Changing: Almost everything.

Employers: Under the bill, virtually all private sector employers will be covered. It will first cover employers with at least 25 employees in 2025, then expand to employers with at least 11 employees in 2026 and then employers with at least one employee in 2027.

Employees: Under the bill, no longer will just “service workers” be covered. It now expands this paid sick day benefit to virtually all private sector employees. Day or temporary workers will now be covered as well (they are currently excluded). Only seasonal employees (who work 120 days or less in a year) and certain union construction workers and their employers are excluded.

When Can an Employee Take the Paid Sick Day: Currently, employees can use paid sick days to care for themselves, a child, or spouse. The bill expands this to include a range of family members similar to that of the CTFMLA, including adult children, siblings, parents, grandparents/children, and anyone related to the employee by blood or whose close association to the employee makes them just like family.

How Does Leave Accrue: For newly covered employers and employees, leave begins to accrue on January 1 of the year they become covered. The bill also answers some questions previously left unanswered about how an employee may maintain or use the leave when they are transferred, or how to deal with exempt employee’s accrual rates.

When Can Employees Start Taking Leave: Currently, employees must work 680 hours before they can use their leave. The bill changes that so that employees can start taking leave on the 120th calendar day of employment.

Anything else: The bill also addresses a variety of other issues including leave carry over, employer-provided leave, leave uses and documentation, and employer notices as well. And not to bury the headline, but employers that already provide at least 40 hours of paid time off to employees are likely to be considered to be in compliance with the law so long as they do not impose more onerous restrictions than what the law provides.

Is this the same as Paid Family and Medical Leave? No. There are now several laws that overlap and come into play: FMLA (which governs whether a leave is protected); CTFMLA (similar); PFML (Paid Family and Medical Leave, often referred with CT Paid Leave Act; it’s an income replacement benefit with a benefit governed by the CT Paid Leave Authority); and now this expanded Paid Sick Days law (employer must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick days a year). Suffice to say that an employee requesting time off might implicate all four of these laws at the same time.

You can view a bill summary here. These provisions will all be effective January 1, 2025.

We’ll have more on this bill once it’s signed by Governor Lamont and we get closer to an implementation date.