06 July 2023
Connecticut Expands and Further Defines Sick Leave Under SB-2
On June 26, 2023, Connecticut’s governor signed SB 2, which expands the reasons covered employees can use leave under the state’s paid sick and safe leave law, effective October 1, 2023.
Recap on Connecticut Paid Sick and Safe Leave: Connecticut was an early adopter of mandatory paid sick and safe leave. The 2012 law, which allows covered employees to earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours per year, is, however, narrower than others across the country.
Employees: SB 2 expands covered uses in two ways:
- First, service workers can use “sick” leave for a “mental health wellness day,” i.e., a day during which the individual attends to their emotional and psychological well-being instead of working their regularly scheduled shift.
- Second, in addition to taking “safe” leave if they personally are a victim of family violence or sexual assault, service workers can take such leave if they are a parent or guardian of a child who is a victim as well. The leave would be designed for medical care, psychological or other counseling for physical or psychological injury or disability. Other qualified leave criteria would be time for obtaining services from a victim services organization, relocating due to family violence or sexual assault, or participating in any civil or criminal proceedings related to or resulting from family violence or sexual assault.
Employers: Required Large Employers have three months to review and, if necessary, revise their leave policies and practices and educate their employees on the new paid sick and safe leave uses. The amendment extending safe leave to family members who are victims of family violence or sexual assault may not be news to multi-state employers doing business in Connecticut, as they may already be required to allow such leave in other jurisdictions; however, the new sick leave provision allowing for mental health days is new. Employers may be looking for assistance in defining terminology in the provisions for employees to attend to emotional and psychological well-being – ACO will continue to monitor the Connecticut Department of Labor’s website for future guidance or regulations.
Future Developments: HB-6668: Proposed Small Employer Sick Leave. CT House Bill 6668 mandates that employers with 11 or more employees provide up to 40 hours of annual paid sick leave. This Bill is currently making its way through the system for possible expansion of sick leave to smaller employers.
If you have any questions, or need any assistance with sick leave, or employer compliance, please contact our office (203) 925-9600