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.
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.
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:
FMLA leave is available if an employee needs time off to:
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.
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.
Employers with at least 75 employees must allow eligible employees to take up to 16 weeks of leave in any 24-month period:
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.
Employers with at least three employees must give employees a reasonable leave of absence for disability relating to pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions. Starting on October 1, 2017, pregnant employees might also be entitled to time off work as a reasonable accommodation for pregnancy, even if there is no disability. Under the new law, employers must reasonably accommodate pregnant employees unless it would cause undue hardship.
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).
You can get more information on these state laws at the Connecticut Department of Labor website.