Paid Sick Leave in Connecticut

Larger employers must provide paid sick leave to service workers in Connecticut.

Connecticut was the first state to pass a law requiring employers to provide paid sick leave back in 2011. (Since then, a handful of other states have passed similar laws; see our paid sick leave page to learn more.) The law applies only to larger employers, and only to employees who work in certain service occupations. Read on to learn more, including rules on accrual, use, and notice.

Which Employers Must Provide Paid Sick Leave?

Connecticut employers must comply with the sick leave law if they employ 50 or more people in the state. This count includes all individuals on the company’s payroll during the week that includes October 1 every year. For purposes of employer coverage, all employees count, whether or not they are service workers who are eligible to accrue and use paid sick time.

Certain employers are exempt from the law, including manufacturing companies and some nonprofits that are nationally chartered.

Which Employees Are Eligible for Paid Sick Leave?

All service workers employed by covered employers are eligible for paid sick leave. An employee is a service worker if both of these requirements are met:

  • The employee is paid on an hourly basis or is not exempt from the federal minimum wage and overtime laws set out in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). (Learn more about these overtime laws and common exemptions.)
  • The employee fits into one of the job descriptions set out in the law. The law lists more than 60 occupations that qualify, including custodians, food service staff, security guards, social workers, medical assistants, and librarians. You can find links to the law and the state’s explanatory materials, which include all of the occupations that are covered, at the Connecticut Department of Labor’s paid sick leave page.

Temporary and day workers—including those who work only on an irregular or occasional basis for the employer, whether they are paid directly by the employer or by a temp agency—are not eligible for sick leave.

How Much Sick Leave Can Employees Accrue and Use?

Eligible employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked, up to a total of 40 hours per year. Employers must allow employees to carry over up to 40 hours of accrued leave at the end of the year. However, employers don’t have to allow employees to use more than 40 hours of paid sick leave in any year.

New employees begin to accrue paid sick leave on their first day of work. However, employees may not use any paid sick time until they have worked 680 hours for the employer. And, an employee may use paid sick leave only if he or she worked an average of ten or more hours per week for the employer in the most recently completed quarter of the year.

For What Purposes May Employees Use Sick Leave?

Employees may use paid sick leave for these reasons:

  • for the employee’s own health condition, injury, or mental or physical illness (including recovery, preventative medical care, diagnosis, and treatment)
  • for the health condition, injury, or mental or physical illness of the employee’s spouse or child, or
  • to handle certain issues arising from sexual assault or family violence committed against the employee, including seeking medical care or counseling, relocating, or participating in legal proceedings.

Connecticut has a separate law requiring employers to provide up to 12 days of unpaid time off for reasons relating to domestic violence; this law covers all employees who work for an employer with at least three employees. An employee who is covered by this law and the paid sick leave law may take these 12 days of unpaid leave in addition to any time taken as paid sick leave.

Notice and Paperwork Requirements

An employer may require employees who need leave for a foreseeable reason (such as a child’s check-up appointment scheduled weeks in advance) to give notice up to seven days before taking time off. If an employee needs leave for an unforeseen reason (such as a sudden illness), the employer may require only as much notice as is practicable.

If an employee uses three consecutive days of paid sick leave, the employer may require reasonable documentation that the employee’s time off is covered by the law. An employee who is taking leave for medical reasons may submit a signed statement from the treating health care provider that indicates how many days the employee needs off. For leave relating to domestic violence or sexual assault, the employee may provide a statement from a police officer, counselor, victim’s services provider, or lawyer.

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