As Connecticut continues to investigate how a system of paid family leave might work in the state, advocates from over 60 organizations and agencies have identified several key elements that should be included in any paid family leave proposals to ensure that the system is fair and helps employees maintain financial security while they are out on leave to care for themselves or a loved one.

Our recs

  1. Coverage
    • For a system of paid family leave to be portable and accessible, it’s important that all employees are part of the system. All employees are eligible for paid family and medical leave. Self-employed persons may opt in.
    • The system is funded solely by employee contributions and administered by the Department of Labor. All employees will participate and contribute approximately half a percent of wages.
  2. Eligibility:
    • In order to be eligible for paid family leave, a worker must earn at least $2,325 in one of the previous five quarters, similar to the state’s Unemployment Compensation program. Earnings may be with one or multiple employers. Unemployed people who meet criteria are also eligible.
    • Workers may use leave for the reasons defined in CT’s Family and Medical Leave Act with the addition of caring for a sibling, grandparent or grandchild, and a child of any age. Adding sibling, grandparent and grandchild will accommodate the realistic needs of multi-generational households and enable employees to tend to the needs of their loved ones.
  3. Compensation and Protection:
    • Employees may take up to 12 weeks of paid family leave within a 12 month period with the ability to take leave intermittently, as permitted by current law. The waiting period before using leave is 7 days.
    • In order for paid family leave to be usable by most employees the reimbursement must be high enough to provide a livable wage. This is especially important for low-wage workers. Employees will receive 100% of their weekly earnings up to $1,000/week.
    • Since all employees will be contributing their wages to the fund, they should also receive the benefit of job protection. Job protection is critical to maintaining an employee’s economic stability. This includes additional measures to ensure that employees are not retaliated against for taking their leave.

To download these recommendations, click here.