Connecticut Public Act No. 19-25: An Act Concerning Paid Family and Medical Leave – What is the Law?
In 2019 lawmakers created Connecticut Paid Family and Medical Leave under Public Act No. 19-25. Paid family and medical leave under the act will be available to eligible employees who need to take time off to care for themselves or a loved one or welcome a new child. The Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA) offers Connecticut workers the opportunity to take time to attend to personal and family health needs without worrying about lost income.
Connecticut Paid Family and Medical Leave are entirely employee-funded by small payroll deductions; employer contributions are not required. Employers may opt-out if a private paid family and medical plan already exists. The tax rate for employee withholding is 0.5% of gross wages up to the social security wage base amount. The 2021 social security wage base amount is $142,800. Therefore, in 2021 each employee will contribute 0.5% of their gross wages—including tips, service charges, commissions, bonuses, severance pay, vacation pay, and holiday pay—each pay period until their wages reach $142,800.
Eligible employees will be able to take up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave in a 12-month period to recover from a serious health condition; welcome a new child by birth, adoption, or foster care placement; provide care to a family member with a serious illness; serve as an organ or bone marrow donor, or to care for an injured service member; plus an extra 2 weeks if they experience pregnancy complications.
Employers are required to notify new employees at the time of hiring, and annually thereafter of the following:
- An employee’s entitlement to family and medical leave
- Eligible reason in which leave may be used
- The employee’s right to file a claim for compensation under the program
- That retaliation by the employer against the employee for requesting, applying for, or using family and medical leave for which the employee is eligible is prohibited
- And that the employee has a right to file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner
What is the rollout timing?
Eligible employees will begin to pay into the program beginning January 1st, 2021. Eligible employees will be able to receive benefits for a qualified reason beginning January 1st, 2022.
Beginning in November 2020, businesses will need to register with the CT Paid Leave Authority to establish their Paid Family and Medical Leave account
What are the penalties if not followed?
The Connecticut Labor Department will assess penalties in an amount necessary to cover all costs incurred to process claims brought against an employer by an employee denied compensation under the family and medical leave program. The employee is also entitled to recover all compensation that should have been paid under the family and medical leave program if there was no denial of compensation.
How can RSI assist?
RSI’s payroll service will begin deducting employee contributions from wages paid after January 1, 2021. Filing the quarterly returns and remitting the tax due is provided in RSI’s service and will begin in April of 2021 so you can focus on running your restaurant rather than paying taxes.
The state of Connecticut has a great list of Paid Family Leave FAQs. If you have any questions please send a support request to Compliance or an email to Compliance@rsiaccounting.com.