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On March 22, 2022, Connecticut issued its final proposed regulations for the state’s Family and Medical Leave Act (CTFMLA). The proposed regulations make quite a few changes to previously released regulations and are expected to soon be adopted in their current form or with limited revisions. The biggest change is that CTFMLA would apply to all employers with one or more employees, a significant change from the previous standard applying the law to employers with 75 or more employees. The following are additional key changes employers should note.
- Eligibility: The definition of who is considered an eligible employee would expand. In past regulations, an employee was eligible upon being employed for a period of 12 months. The proposed regulations lower that requirement to 13 consecutive weeks prior to the start of leave. If a variable hour eligible employee is taking intermittent leave, employers would take a weekly average of the hours scheduled over the past 12 months to calculate the amount of leave to which the employee is entitled.
- Leave Benefit: Previously, eligible employees could take 16 weeks of paid leave in a 24-month period. The new regulations would allow 12 weeks of paid leave during any 12-month period, plus an additional two weeks for a serious health condition during an employee’s pregnancy that results in a period of incapacity.
- Reasons for Leave: The propose regulations expand the definition of covered family members from spouses, children, and parents, to also include children of any age, siblings, parents-in-law, grandparents, grandchildren, and any other person “related to the employee by blood or affinity whose close association . . . shows to be the equivalent” of a family relationship. For the last category, employers may require an employee to provide a statement in writing that explains the how the relationship meets the given standard.
- Benefits: If the employer has a policy that allows employees on unpaid leave to continue to accrue benefits and seniority, that policy must also apply to CTFMLA leave. Employees can choose, or employers may require, use of PTO as a substitute for unpaid CTFMLA leave. However, employees may choose to keep up to two weeks of accrued unpaid leave. If employer PTO is used as a substitute, it will run concurrently with unpaid CTFMLA leave.
- Notices: The proposed regulations also added new notice responsibilities. Within five business days after a request for leave or learning that an employee is taking leave for a qualifying reason, employers must notify employees whether they are eligible to take CTFMLA leave and provide at least one reason why if they are not eligible. Similar to federal FMLA requirements, employers must also provide a designation notice within five business days of having enough information to determine whether the leave may be designated under CTFMLA. This notice must tell the employee if employer PTO will be used to substitute unpaid leave, and whether the employee must present a fitness-for-duty certification to return to work.
Employers are encouraged to review these proposed regulations, along with their existing leave policies to prepare for compliance. Continue to look for updates on when the final proposed regulations are adopted.
- Review the final proposed regulations here.
- Prepare to update polies and employee handbooks.
- Have appropriate personnel trained on the requirements.
- Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.
Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser. © 2022 ManagEase