Like employers in every state, Connecticut employers must comply with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which allows eligible employees to take unpaid leave, with the right to reinstatement, for certain reasons.
In addition, Connecticut laws give employees the right to take leave for family and health reasons. Employees who are covered by more than one of these laws are entitled to the rights set out in the most protective law.
Federal FMLA Rights
Connecticut employees who are eligible may take up to 12 weeks of leave for serious health conditions, bonding with a new child, or preparation for a family member's military service; more leave is available for employees who need to care for a family member who was seriously injured on active military duty. For detailed information on FMLA leave, see Taking Family and Medical Leave.
Who Is Covered?
Connecticut employers must comply with the FMLA if they have at least 50 employees for at least 20 weeks in the current or previous year.
Employees are eligible for FMLA leave if:
- they have worked for the company for at least a year
- they worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous year, and
- they work at a location with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.
Reasons for Leave
FMLA leave is available if an employee needs time off to:
- bond with a new child
- recuperate from a serious health condition
- care for a family member with a serious health condition
- handle qualifying exigencies arising out of a family member’s military service, or
- care for a family member who suffered a serious injury during active duty in the military. (You can find more information on these last two types of leave in Military Family Leave for Employees.)
How Much Leave Is Available?
Connecticut employees may take up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period for a serious health condition, bonding with a new child, or qualifying exigencies. This leave renews every 12 months, as long as the employee continues to meet the eligibility requirements explained above.
Employees who need military caregiver leave may take up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period. However, this leave is a per-injury, per-service member entitlement. Unless the same family member is injured again, or another family member suffers an injury while on active duty, an employee may not take an additional leave for this purpose.
Leave and Reinstatement Rights
Employees are entitled to continue their health insurance while on leave, at the same cost they must pay while working. Although FMLA leave is unpaid, employees may be allowed (or required) to use their accrued paid leave during FMLA leave.
When an employee’s FMLA leave ends, the employee is entitled to be reinstated to the same or an equivalent position, with a few exceptions.
Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Laws
State Family and Medical Leave
Employers with at least 75 employees must allow eligible employees to take up to 16 weeks of leave in any 24-month period:
- for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child
- for the employee’s own health condition
- to care for a family member (including parents-in-law, domestic partners, and the children of domestic partners) with a serious health condition, or
- for organ or bone marrow donation.
Military Family Leave in Connecticut
Employers with at least 75 employees must provide leave to employees who are the spouse, child, parent, or next of kin to a current member of the armed forces who suffers a serious illness or injury on active duty. An employee may take up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period. Like the federal FMLA provision for military caregivers, this provision is a per service member, per illness or injury entitlement.
Pregnancy Disability Leave
Employers with at least three employees must give employees a reasonable leave of absence for disability relating to pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions.
Paid Sick Leave
In 2012, service employees in Connecticut have the right to accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours per year. Employers in certain service industries with at least 50 employees must comply with this law. Employees may use this paid leave for their own medical needs or to care for an ailing family member (a child or spouse, including a same-sex spouse).
For More Information
You can get more information on these state laws at the Connecticut Department of Labor website.