Connecticut Poised to Become First State to Mandate Paid Sick Leave


As state governments across the country scramble to plug large holes in their own budgets, they are digging deeper into employers' pockets. Earlier this week, the Connecticut General Assembly passed legislation that will require employers within the service sector (and with more than 50 employees) to provide paid sick leave to their employees, making the state the first in the country to pass such legislation. (The Connecticut governor has indicated his signature soon will follow.)

As reported by Daniel Schwartz in the Connecticut Employment Law Blog, "service" workers within the state will accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours or 5 business days. According to the New York Times, the legislation will cover approximately 200,000 to 400,000 workers, including waiters, cashiers, fast-food cooks, hair stylists, security guards and nursing home aides. However, it exempts manufacturers, nonprofits, as well as salaried workers, independent contractors, temporary workers and day laborers.

Employees will be able to carry over up to 5 days paid sick leave each year. Under the legislation, employees would be able to use paid sick leave for their own or their child's or spouse's health condition; medical diagnosis, care or treatment of a health condition; or preventative medical care. Paid sick leave also could be utilized for time off if the employee is a victim of family violence or sexual assault.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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