Posted by: Zachary Schurin
May 30, 2014
On May 12, 2014, the Connecticut Secretary of State’s website posted the Department of Labor’s Family and Medical Leave for School Paraprofessionals final regulations. Under the new regulations, Connecticut school districts will now be required to provide paraprofessionals with FMLA leave benefits once they have worked 950 hours after the May 12, 2014 date of the regulations’ adoption.
This new requirement is the result of 2012 state legislation, Public Act 12-43, that created a special, reduced hours-worked FMLA eligibility threshold for Connecticut school paraprofessionals. Under federal law, public school employees are required to work 1,250 hours in the twelve-month period preceding leave in order to become eligible for FMLA-protected leave benefits. Most school paraprofessionals did not work enough hours in a year to meet the 1,250 hour threshold for eligibility.
Public Act 12-43 provided that Connecticut school paraprofessionals would be eligible for FMLA leave once they had worked 950 hours after the adoption of implementing regulations. Now that the regulations have been adopted the 950-hour “clock” starts ticking and most full-time school paraprofessionals will become eligible for FMLA leave sometime during the 2014-15 school year.
As your school district prepares to administer this new FMLA benefit there are several key points to keep in mind:
- Upon the birth of the employee’s son or daughter, or to care for the employee’s newborn child;
- In connection with the employee’s serious health condition;
- To care for a spouse, son, daughter or parent who has a serious health condition;
- In connection with a qualifying exigency relating to the foreign deployment or call (or impending call) to active military duty of a paraprofessional’s spouse, son, daughter or parent; and
- To care for a spouse, son, daughter or parent who suffered a serious injury or illness in the line of duty.
For more information about this topic please visit our blog, Education Law Notes at http://schoollaw.pullcomblog.com, or contact one of the attorneys in our School Law practice area.
 The Department of Labor has developed a model notice that employers can post to comply with the regulations’ notice requirement. The model notice is attached to this alert and is also available as “Appendix B” to the Department of Labor regulations, which are available on-line at: http://www.ct.gov/sots/lib/sots/regulations/recentlyadopted/ecopy_reg_6160.pdf .
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