Now That They Are Finished: Developments from the 2024 Session of the Connecticut General Assembly Affecting Employers
CT General Assembly - Building

The 2024 Regular Session of the Connecticut General Assembly, which concluded on May 8, 2024, was not especially prolific in terms of the volume of labor and employment related bills passed.  While many far-reaching bills that emerged from committee were not passed by the legislature (e.g., efforts to broadly restrict the use of covenants not to compete for all Connecticut employers, eliminate the tip credit for restaurant workers, and require “schedule predictability”), the Generally Assembly did pass a significant expansion of the paid sick leave law for private sector employers.

The following are brief descriptions of some of these employment-related bills.  Please note: We will provide you with further/updated information with respect to these and other bills, including whether any of these bills will be vetoed by the Governor, in a subsequent blog post.


PUBLIC ACT 24-8 (S.B. 5005): An Act Expanding Paid Sick Days in the State.  This Act will revise the state’s current paid sick leave law by eventually covering nearly all private sector employers.  Currently, the paid sick law just applies to those employers with at least 50 employees in Connecticut and just to “service workers”.  The Act will extend coverage to a) employers with at least 25 employees in the state on January 1, 2025, b) employers with at least 11 employees in the state on January 1, 2026, and then c) all employers on January 1, 2027. The Act also changes the date by which the number of employees is measured from October 1st to January 1stIn addition, instead of just covering “service workers,” all private sector employees, with the exception of certain unionized construction workers and seasonal employees, will be covered by the paid sick leave law.    

The Act makes various other changes to the paid sick leave law that generally take effect on January 1, 2025. The Act expands the permissible use of leave under the paid sick leave law by broadening the types of family members for whom an employee may use the leave (for care) from just children and spouses to also include adult children, siblings, parents,  parents-in-law, grandparents, grandchildren, and an individual “related to the employee by blood or affinity whose close association the employee shows to be equivalent” to these family relationships (which is similar to the provisions of Connecticut’s Family and Medical Leave Act).

The Act also expands the reasons for which an employee may use paid sick leave to include a) when the employer’s place of business is closed by order of a public official due to a public health emergency, or when an employee needs to care for a family member whose school or place of care has been closed by such an order, or b) where the employee or family member poses a risk to the health of others due to the employee’s or family member’s exposure to a communicable illness (regardless of whether the employee or family member has actually contracted the illness).  The Act also permits a family member of a victim of domestic violence (not just the victim) to use paid sick leave for domestic violence related reasons.   Interestingly, the paid sick leave law was amended last year to include a “mental wellness day.”   

The Act provides that employers may be in compliance with the paid sick leave law if they provide any other paid leave or combination of leave (including vacation, personal days, or other paid time off) that equals or exceeds the amount provided under the law, provided that employees can use such leave for any of the reasons for leave under the law.  However, the Act specifically provides that employers cannot require an employee to provide documentation that the leave is being taken for one of the purposes permitted under the paid sick leave law. 

Further, the Act increases the rate at which employees accrue leave (one hour accrued for every 30 hours worked instead of the current 40 hours).  For newly covered employees, leave will begin accruing as of the date they become covered by the law or, if later, on the employee’s first date of employment.  The Act will now permit employees to first use paid sick leave on or after their 120th calendar day of employment.  In addition, with respect to the employees’ right to carry over 40 hours of leave to the following year, the Act will allow employers to instead provide employees with an amount of leave that both 1) meets or exceeds the paid sick law minimum, and 2) is available for immediate use at the beginning of the next year.    

The Act provides that exempt employees (i.e., salaried employees not entitled to overtime pay) shall be assumed to work 40 hours in each work week for purposes of paid sick leave accrual, unless their normal work week is less than 40 hours, in which case paid sick leave shall accrue based upon the hours worked in that normal work week.  The Act also clarifies that the paid sick leave entitlement continues even if the employee is transferred to another division, entity or worksite of the employer, or if there is a successor employer.  The Act prohibits an employer from requiring that the employee search for or find a replacement worker to cover the hours for which the employee is using paid sick leave as a condition for receiving such leave.

The Act imposes further record keeping and notice/posting requirements on employers, including a notice of rights to be provided to all employees no later than their time of hire or January 1, 2025, whichever is later. The Department of Labor is required to develop a model notice as well as a new poster that employers must display.  The Act also establishes a task force to study the provision of paid sick leave tax credits for employers with five or less employees, effective upon passage.  The task force must submit a report with its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee by January 1, 2025.


PUBLIC ACT 24-5 (S.B. No. 222): An Act Concerning Changes to the Paid Family and Medical Leave Statutes. This Act, which generally takes effect on October 1, 2024, extends coverage for the Connecticut Paid Family and Medical Leave (“PFML”) Insurance Program to federally recognized tribes that enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Governor.  The Act also will explicitly require a covered employer making payments of wages to employees to register with the Paid Family and Medical Leave Authority and file any reports required by the Authority (and will subject employers who fail to do so to penalties).   While the PFML statutes generally prevent someone from receiving PFML benefits concurrently with workers’ or unemployment compensation or any other state or federal program that provides wage replacement, the Act will allow for employees to receive benefits under this program concurrently with the victim compensation program administered by the Office of Victim Services as long as the total compensation does not exceed the employee’s regular rate of pay.  The Act will further require health care providers to display an Authority developed/approved informational poster about the PFML program.  The Act authorizes the Authority to address overpayments by seeking repayment on a schedule determined by the Authority (with possible payment of interest).  The Act will further explicitly cover/offer family violence leave to victims of sexual assault to seek care and obtain services, similar to the paid sick leave law.  Finally, the Act provides an explicit definition of a “municipality” as a metropolitan district, town, consolidated town and city, consolidated town and borough, city, borough, village, fire and sewer district, sewer district and each municipal organization authorized to levy and collect taxes; such entities by reason of the “municipality” exemption are exempt from the PFML laws.   

S.B. No. 220: An Act Concerning Clarifying the Appeals Process Under the Paid Family and Medical Leave Statutes. This Act, which would take effect upon passage, adds certain components to the procedures for someone appealing a denial of benefits under the PFML laws.  Among other things, the Act specifies that a decision on an appeal will become final on the 31st day after the decision is sent to each party.  The Act specifies that an appeal to the Superior Court must also be filed with the Commissioner of Labor. The Act sets forth what the Commissioner of Labor must file with the Superior Court in terms of the record on appeal.  Similar to unemployment compensation appeals, the Act provides for a process for a party to seek correction of any finding of the Commissioner. The Act limits the scope of a court reviewing an appeal.  


H.B. No. 5431: An Act Establishing the Stabilization Support and ARPA Replacement Fund: This bill as amended innocuously would establish a non-lapsing account in the state budget to be known as the “Connecticut families and workers account”, to be used by the Comptroller for the purpose of “assisting low-income workers.”  However, the bill has become controversial, as it became evident during the floor debate that this account could be used to make payments to striking workers.  The Governor has threatened to veto this bill.  Please note: a separate bill that would have made striking workers eligible for unemployment compensation benefits did not pass.


PUBLIC ACT 24-16 (H.B. No. 5279): An Act Concerning Authority to Declare that a Firefighter, Police Officer or Emergency Medical Service Personnel Died in the Line of Duty.  This Act, which would take effect on October 1, 2024, authorizes a police chief, fire chief, or emergency medical service chief (unless a local charter or ordinance in effect as of October 1, 2024 empowers a different person) to declare that a police officer, uniformed paid or volunteer firefighter, or EMS personnel died in the line of duty if the death was caused by a cardiac event, stroke, or pulmonary embolism within 24 hours after the officer, firefighter, or EMS personnel (as the case may be) concluded a shift or training.  The Act specifically provides that such a declaration shall not be used as evidence in a workers’ compensation claim; however, such a declaration may entitle the surviving family members to certain federal and state benefits under existing programs (e.g., survivor benefits, tuition waivers).

PUBLIC ACT 24-27 (S.B. No. 341): An Act Establishing a Fallen Officer Fund and Providing Health Insurance Coverage to Survivors of a Police Officer Killed in the Line of DutyThis Act, which was signed by the Governor, establishes the “Fallen Officer Fund” to, within available appropriations, give a lump sum death benefit totaling $100,000 to a surviving family member or beneficiary of a police officer who was killed in the line of duty or sustained injuries that were the direct and proximate cause of the officer’s death.  This benefit would be in addition to (and would not be offset by) any other benefit to the survivors. These provisions took effect on May 15, 2024. The bill also allows survivors who were covered by the police officer’s health insurance at the time of the officer’s death, to apply for or keep the coverage (via the State “Partnership Plan”) for one year after the death and to renew annually for up to five years. The Act authorizes the Comptroller to issue regulations governing the application process and criteria for any reviews or evaluations performed by the Health Care Cost Containment Committee (which approves the actuarial standards to assess the shift in medical risks of an employer's employees to a partnership plan).  These provisions are effective July 1, 2024.


S.B. No. 407: An Act Granting Vocational Agricultural Students Access to Workers' Compensation.  Despite its title, this bill as amended will simply establish a task force to study workers’ compensation coverage for students at regional agricultural science and technology education centers who are either enrolled in an approved work study program or an internship.  The task force must submit a report with its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee by January 1, 2025.


H.B. No. 5267: An Act Making Changes to and Repealing Obsolete Provisions of Statutes Relevant to the Labor Department. As the title suggests, this bill (which would take effect upon passage) makes minor changes to and repeals obsolete provisions and statutes relevant to the Labor Department (including the requirement to issue certain regulations).  Among other things, the bill exempts violations of the state’s paid sick leave law from the general $300 civil penalty for violations of the state’s wage and employment regulation laws, leaving them subject only to the penalties set forth in the paid sick leave law. The bill explicitly authorizes the Commissioner of Labor to enter into contracts as may be necessary for all programs, activities, services, and grants under the jurisdiction of the Department of Labor.

Please contact any of Pullman & Comley's Labor and Employment Law attorneys if you have any questions.

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