Legal Alert: Connecticut Paid Family Medical Leave Program



Register Now for Paid Family Medical Leave Program
Payroll Deductions Begin January 1, 2021

The State of Connecticut has enacted a new Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) program. PFML allows eligible employees working in Connecticut the opportunity to take paid leave to address personal or family needs. PFML establishes a new payroll deduction, and makes certain changes to CT’s current Family and Medical Leave Act. The new deduction starts on January 1, 2021.

The PFML will be administered by a newly quasi-public agency, the Paid Leave Authority. The program will be funded by employees and sole proprietors. Employers are responsible for withholding and submitting payments to the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority (the Authority). Collection of wages will begin on January 1, 2021. Payments of benefits to eligible employees will begin on January 1, 2022.

What You Need To Do Now?

  • Register your organization to establish your account. You must register by December 31, 2020. Click on “Register your Business/Get Started.” This link offers a useful video guiding your registration and downloadable written instructions.
  • Payroll deductions will begin with the first pay check on or after January 1, 2021.
  • You can find more information here, and a very detailed set of FAQs here.

Highlights of PFML

Funding of the Program

  • PFML will be funded through payroll deductions. Beginning with the first paycheck on or after January 1, 2021, you will be required to deduct (withhold) a mandatory tax of 0.5% from all employee paychecks, and remit the withheld amount quarterly to the Authority.
  • The deduction applies to each employee’s wages up to the Social Security contribution base (currently $137,700).
  • The www.ctpaidleave.org website will be updated with detailed instructions — including a video tutorial — on how to remit the funds. As a general matter, ACH files will be accepted and there will also be an option to submit payments through www.ctpaidleave.org.
  • First quarter payments of payroll deductions are due on March 31, 2021.
  • If you use a payroll provider, you should confirm with them that they will be in compliance prior to Jan. 1, 2021.
  • Your employees will probably have questions about the new deduction. The Authority has information specifically for employees here.

Participation and Eligibility of Employees

  • The new, enhanced paid leave benefits begin January 1, 2022 (next year).
  • Employers with as few as one employee in Connecticut will be required to provide 12 weeks of paid leave, with the additional two weeks available to eligible employees for certain serious pregnancy-related health conditions.
  • There are certain requirements for employees to be eligible for the new benefits, and qualifying reasons for the paid leave – all described in more detail at the Authority’s website. Remember: the new benefits do not start until 2022.

Alternative Programs

  • Employers may offer a paid family and medical leave benefit that is equal to or better than the state’s plan.
  • Private plans must provide all the same rights, protections and benefits as the state plan.
  • Private plans must be approved by a majority of the employer’s employees and cost to the employees must be no more than the state plan.

Important Dates

  • January 1, 2021: Employee payroll withholdings begin.
  • March 31, 2021: First quarter payments of payroll deductions due.
  • June 30, 2021: Second quarter payments of payroll deductions due.
  • September 31, 2021: Third quarter payments of payroll deductions due.
  • Fall 2021: Qualifying employees can apply for paid leave benefits.
  • December 31, 2021: Fourth quarter payments of payroll deductions due.
  • January 1, 2022: Benefits payments to eligible employees begin.

Questions?

If you have further questions, you can contact the Authority here. You can also reach Priya Morganstern, Pro Bono Partnership Connecticut Program Director, at pmorganstern@probonopartner.org.

This document is provided as a general informational service to volunteers, clients, and friends of Pro Bono Partnership. It should not be construed as, and does not constitute, legal advice on any specific matter, nor does distribution of this document create an attorney-client relationship.