Did you receive a e-mail this year from your company's HR Department or employer informing you that the State of Connecticut was going to take 1/2 of 1% from your paycheck soon, in order to fund something called Connecticut Paid Leave?

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I did, and if you've only semi-paid attention to what CT Paid Leave program is all about, like me, it's time to really pay attention. CT Paid leave is a wonderful program, that thousands of people have fought so hard for, and it's only weeks away from going live. In fact, you can start applying for benefits in just two weeks, on 12-1-21.

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What is the Connecticut Paid Leave program? We've seen enough Aflac commercials, right? Well, the State of Connecticut has actually partnered up with Aflac as their third-party administrator to offer a financial cushion of sorts, in addition to the benefits you'd receive from your employer, and the FMLA Act. As a covered employee in Connecticut, the CT Paid Leave program can provide the opportunity for full and part-time workers to take time off from work to take care of themselves or their loved ones without worrying about lost income.

There are defined qualifying events for which you can apply for CT Paid Leave benefits which includes:

  • Bonding with a new child (Birth, adoption, foster care)
  • Caring for a loved one experiencing a serious health issue
  • Care for your own serious health issue
  • To address issues arising from family violence
  • Caring for a military family member injured during active duty
  • Qualifying Exigency Leave to address issues arising from military deployment overseas

You are qualified as an employee for CT Paid Leave benefits if you have:

  • Earned at least $2325 in the highest-earning quarter of the past 4 of the 5 most recently completed quarters
  • Currently employed or had been employed with a covered employer in the 12 weeks immediately preceding the start of leave
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There are exclusions for participation in the CT Paid Leave program:

  • Employees of the Federal Government
  • State and Municipality employees who are members of a union (Unions can bargain to be included in the program)
  • Employees of local and regional members of Boards of Education
  • Non-public elementary and secondary school employees

The CT Paid Leave Program only offers payment for qualifying events, but does not offer job protection to employees taking leave. Only employers can determine, in communication with the employee, whether the leave taken is subject to job protection.

The CT Paid Leave program benefits will cover 95% of low wage worker's pay, up to $900 a week, the most generous wage level of wage replacement in the country.

Now, the good part, CT Paid Leave benefits become available January 1, 2022, but they are going to begin accepting applications for events happening on/after 1-1-22 on December 1, 2021 at ctpaidleave.org. So, if you know that you are having that knee replacement in the middle of January 2022, or there is a possibility that your loved one may be deployed overseas, or you're expecting a new child in the new year, look into your options now.

CT Paid Leave is offering webinars now through the end of the year for both businesses and workers, where you can learn all of the details. You can resister on the Events page at ctpaidleave.org, and click on the date/time that you'd like to attend.

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