Connecticut Passes Most Generous Paid Family Leave Law in the Nation

"We all agreed on the need to pass this landmark support for working families so they don’t have to choose between the job they need and the family they love."
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ByStephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
Jun 2019

Connecticut is on track to make it much more financially feasible for its workers to grow their families. The state just passed the most generous paid family leave policy in the US, the HuffPost reports. Governor Ned Lamont plans to sign the bill “ASAP,” according to the report. Once signed, it will make Connecticut the seventh state in the US to create a system of paid leave.

“We all agreed on the need to pass this landmark support for working families so they don’t have to choose between the job they need and the family they love, or their own health,” Lamont said in a statement.

The Details

  • Once signed, the new policy is set to go into effect in 2021
  • Workers can take up to 12 weeks of paid leave over a 12-month period
  • The law allows for workers to take time off for a new baby, a seriously ill family member or loved one or to deal with their own illness

How it works

The benefit will be funded by a payroll tax on workers of 0.5 percent, according to HuffPost. Benefits will cover 95 percent of low-wage workers’ pay up to $900 a week, the most generous level of wage replacement in the country. New York currently offers 55 percent wage replacement, increasing to 66 percent when its policy is fully phased in. Starting 2021, Massachusetts will offer a contribution equal to 63 percent of a workers wage, up to $850 a week. Another reason why it’s so monumental is because it also has one of the most inclusive definitions of who counts as a family member or loved one—siblings, grandparents, or any other blood relation or person who is the “equivalent of a family member,” according to the bill.

The program is mandatory for private sector employees, Patch.com reports. Self-employed and sole proprietors can opt-in to the program. Non-union state and local government employees would also be covered while unionized workers can collectively bargain to become covered. Private companies would be able to opt-out if their own program provided the same or better benefits.

Four states— California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York—currently require paid family leave. A universal paid family leave measure became law in Washington, D.C. in February 2017, and will take effect on July 1, 2020. The state of Washington passed SB 5975 in July 2017 to commence a paid leave program at the start of 2020. Last July, Massachusetts passed its paid family leave law which goes into effect in 2021.

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