Connecticut Sick Leave Law Changing on January 1, 2025

By Mark Adams.

Governor Lamont has signed into law a bill that drastically expands the state’s existing sick leave law. 

The Act (which can be found here) represents a compilation of adjustments which – when fully implemented – will make cover virtually all employers in Connecticut.

Among the changes going into effect on January 1st include:

  • Elimination of exemptions that had been in place for manufacturers and 501(c)(3) tax exempt organizations that provide recreation, childcare and education services.
  • Elimination of advance notice and documentation requirements that had been a precursor to being able to use earned sick leave.
  • Changing the minimum accrual rate standard from 1 hour for every 40 hours worked to 1 hour for every 30 hours worked (employers may alternatively still choose to “front load” sick time instead).
  • Expanding family relationships where an employee can take sick leave to align with family relationships covered under the Connecticut Paid Leave law.  Effective January 1st, an employee can use earned sick leave to attend to the illness, injury or health condition, the medical diagnosis care or treatment of a spouse or child, but additionally of a domestic partner, sibling, parent, grandparent, grandchild, or “individual related by blood or affinity whose close association the employee shows to be equivalent to those family relationships.”
  • Expanded notice requirements to provide individual notice to their employees of their rights under the revised sick leave law (on this point, the Connecticut Department of Labor will be crafting model language for employers to meet this requirement).

In addition to the above, the requirements under the law will provide for the gradual phase out of the small employer exemption as follows:

  • Effective January 1, 2025:  The law will apply to Connecticut employers with 25 or more employees.
  • Effective January 1, 2026:  The law will apply to Connecticut employers with 11 or more employees.
  • Effective January 1, 2027:  The law will apply to Connecticut employers with 1 more employees.

What hasn’t changed is that an employer can utilize an existing company policy (such as a Paid Time Off (PTO) policy) to meet the requirements provided that the policy meets all the elements of the Connecticut sick leave law. 

On this point, employers should review existing policy for potential pitfalls.  Specifically, determine if:

  • our current policy allows all employees to earn sick time or just full-time employees? [Under the sick leave law, apart from seasonal workers, all employees working for a covered employer have the right to earn sick time.]
  • our existing policy allow for sick time to be used for all the following covered reasons? [If it does not, then reasons should be updated.]:
    • An employee’s or employee’s family member’s illness, injury, or health condition;
    • The medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of the employee or employee’s family member;
    • Preventive medical care for the employee’s or employee’s family member’s mental or physical health;
    • The employee’s own mental health wellness day;
    • Closure by order of a public official, due to a public health emergency, of either an employer’s place of business or a family member’s school or place of care;
    • A determination by a health authority, employer of the employee, employer of a family member, or a healthcare provider of whether an employee or employee’s family member poses a risk to the health of others due to exposure to a communicable illness, whether or not the employee or family member contracted the communicable illness; and
    • Where an employee or employee’s family member is a victim of family violence or sexual assault, provided that the employee is not the alleged perpetrator, for the purposes of:
      • Medical care or psychological or other counseling for physical or psychological injury or disability;
      • Obtaining services from a victim services organization;
      • Relocating due to such family violence or sexual assault; or
      • Participating in any civil or criminal proceeding related to or resulting from such family violence or sexual assault

  • our existing policy cover all family relationships set forth in the law or does it only cover an employee’s own illness or a narrower set of family relationships?
  • our existing policy have notice and documentation requirements for taking the time off for these covered situations?  [If so, those obligations should be removed.]
  • our existing policy allow employees to earn sick time at or greater than the minimum 1 hour per 30 hours worked accrual rate?  [To the degree that the time is earned at a slower rate, then that should be corrected.]
  • our existing policy allow eligible employees to use sick time after 120 calendar days of employment?  [If there is a longer waiting period for using such time, then that should be adjusted.]

So, as you can see, whether a Connecticut business is new to the state requirements or has been covered by the state law all along, Connecticut employers are advised to review and update their policies and practices to ensure they are in compliance by January 1st

If your company has specific questions, our hotline is always available. Contact us toll-free at (877) 662-6444.