EMPLOYERS NEED TO GET READY NOW FOR THE CONNECTICUT PAID FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE ACT (PFMLA)
The State of Connecticut has created a Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA), establishing a fund of income replacement benefits for qualifying life events for Connecticut workers. Employers need to get ready now to meet the obligations under the CT Paid Family Medical Leave Act.
Connecticut PFMLA: What Employers Need to Do
Below are key points for employers regarding the new CT PFML law.
Who does CT PFMLA apply to?
Connecticut PFMLA applies to all private employers with at least one employee in Connecticut. Sole Proprietors and self-employed individuals can opt-in, with certain requirements.
If you meet the definition of an “employer” you must register and create an account with the Connecticut (CT) Paid Leave Authority, a new quasi-public agency created to administer the program.
You can register now and must be registered before January 1, 2021.
What happens on January 1, 2021?
Connecticut PFML will be funded through payroll deductions beginning on January 1, 2021. Employers will begin to withhold one half of one percent (0.5%) of each paycheck. This payroll deduction is mandatory.
The payroll deduction of 0.5% is wages is capped at the defined Social Security wage base (using the same calculations for determining total wages as are used to calculate FICA).
How does the Employer submit the CT Paid Family and Medical Leave contributions?
Connecticut employers must submit PFML contributions to the CT Paid Leave Authority at the end of each quarter. The CT Paid Leave Authority holds the funds in trust in the CT Family and Medical Leave Insurance Trust Fund.
Is there any required Employer Contribution to the Trust Fund?
No, the Trust Fund is entirely funded by employee payroll deductions.
Can an Employer opt-out of the Connecticut PFML Program?
If an employer offers a private Paid Family and Medical plan, the employer may apply for an exemption from the program with the CT Paid Leave Authority. The private plan must be comparable to the CT public program and a majority of the employer’s employees must agree to the plan.
To be a comparable plan, the private plan must offer the same benefits, rights, and protections as the public plan. Among other things, this means up to 12 weeks of paid leave for qualified events, plus an additional 2 weeks of paid leave available for employees who experience a pregnancy-related health condition that results in the need for additional recovery time as determined by healthcare providers.
How are the funds the Employer pays into the CT Paid Leave Program used?
Beginning January 1, 2022, the CT Paid Leave Authority can start paying benefits out of the Trust Fund to eligible employees for qualifying events. Employees may apply to the Trust Fund for benefits beginning in the Fall of 2021.
CT Paid Family Medical Leave: Next Steps for Employers
Key PFML Dates for Connecticut Employers
Employers can register or opt-out with the CT Paid Leave Authority.
Employers begin withholding .05% employee contributions.
First contribution payment is due.
Second contribution payment is due.
Third contribution payment is due.
Fourth contribution payment is due.
Employees can submit applications for Paid Leave benefits.
Benefit payments begin for approved applications.
Business Employment Attorneys in New Haven, CT
For help navigating the Connecticut Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA), the business employment attorneys at Garcia & Milas are ready to assist employers in meeting these important new responsibilities.
Garcia & Milas Law Firm has the top Business Employment Attorneys in New Haven, Connecticut and surrounding areas. We advise and represent clients in a variety of business employment contexts.
Garcia & Milas practices before administrative tribunals and in state and federal courts. Learn more about our Labor and Employment Law Practice.
By Jane I. Milas, Garcia & Milas Managing Director
Jane I. Milas is the Managing Director of Garcia & Milas Law Firm located in New Haven, CT. She regularly advises employers on employment issues impacting their businesses, as well as assists them in complying with federal, state, and local labor and employment laws. Ms. Milas has been ranked as a New England Super Lawyer for 10 years.
This publication is for general information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader’s specific circumstances.