In a June Special Session, the Connecticut Legislature passed Public Act No. 21-2 which will become effective on January 1, 2022. The Act, among other things, made changes to the state’s family medical leave provisions. The following are four important things to know regarding these changes to protect yourself and your business:
All Businesses Are Now Subject to the Family Medical Leave Act. The definition of “Employer” for purposes of the statute has been amended to mean, “any activity, enterprise or business who employs one or more employees…” The previous standard of a business having to employ at least 75 people to be eligible has been all but annihilated. Now “small” businesses have been brought into the meaning of the statute and should be aware of this important change.
Employees Qualify Much Sooner. Previously, to qualify as an employee, the employee needed to have been employed for at least twelve months with that employer or had worked 1000 hours in a twelve-month period prior to the first day of the leave. Starting January 1, 2022, the eligibility period for employees has been reduced by 75% to, “three months preceding his or her request for leave by the employer with respect to whom leave is requested.”
Expanded Situational Coverage. Before the statute only covered leave for individuals to care for spouses, or a son, a daughter, or a parent. Beginning next year, the statute has been expanded to “family members” with “family members” being defined as, “a spouse, sibling, son or daughter, grandparent, grandchild or parent or an individual related to the employee by blood or affinity whose close association the employee shows to be the equivalent of those family relationships.” While the statute has been amended to better reflect the modern-day family and familial relationships we all experience, these changes mean important considerations for all businesses.
Changes to Total Amount of Leave. Under the previous statute, an employee was entitled to sixteen weeks of leave over a 24-month (two year) period. When the new law becomes effective on January 1, employees will be eligible for twelve workweeks of leave a year. Depending on the individual situation with the employee, this could either lessen or expand the amount of time the employee can take off. Therefore, it is important to be able to examine each situation as it comes with your attorney and human resources “department”.
For assistance with any legal needs relating to determining whether your business needs to provide leave, if you qualify for leave, or any of your business or estate planning needs, contact Fournier Legal Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or (860) 670-3535.
Justin Krajeski is an Associate Attorney at the firm operating primarily out of our CT office. He graduated from Siena College and from Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law. Justin focuses on business and employment litigation, and he is admitted to practice law in CT, MA, NY, and PA.