Victory: Connecticut Expands Paid Sick Time Protections!

Connecticut has built on its legacy as the first state to pass a statewide paid sick time law by extending these protections to more workers.
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The Connecticut Legislature has passed legislation significantly expanding the state’s paid sick time law and guaranteeing workers across Connecticut the right to take paid sick time for themselves or their loved ones, which was then signed into law by Governor Lamont!

In 2011, Connecticut had the distinction of being the first state to pass a statewide paid sick time law, which covers certain service workers in businesses with 50 or more workers. A Better Balance has worked with partners in Connecticut since the beginning, providing assistance with bill drafting, talking points, testimony, and policy analysis. In recent years, we have been proud to support our partners in Connecticut—led by She Leads Justice—in their successful effort to make critical improvements to the original law.

Connecticut’s 2011 sick time law, being the first statewide paid sick time law in the nation, was a milestone at the time. However, the movement has since gained momentum across the country, bolstered by research showing that paid sick time laws improve public health, protect the financial security of workers, and work well for businesses. As a result, the norms for a comprehensive paid sick time law have evolved in the 13 years since Connecticut first passed this important protection. The newly expanded law, which will take effect January 1, 2025, is much more comprehensive in its scope and universal in coverage. The new law removes certain industry requirements in the prior law, meaning that nearly all workers in Connecticut will be covered regardless of the sector in which they work. The amended law increases the rate at which workers can accrue sick time (from one hour for every 40 hours worked to one hour for every 30 hours worked), allows workers to use their time to care for loved ones who experience family violence or sexual assault, and adds new coverage for public health emergency needs. The paid sick time amendment also phases in coverage of small businesses (in 2025, the law will apply to employers with at least 25 employees; in 2026, the law will apply to employers with at least 11 employees; and in 2027 and thereafter, it will apply to all employers regardless of size). Additionally, we are thrilled that the new law utilizes the kind of inclusive family definition that A Better Balance has championed: workers will soon be able to take sick time to care for a spouse, sibling, child, grandparent, grandchild or parent of an employee or an individual related to the employee by blood or affinity whose close association the employee shows to be equivalent to those family relationships. Previously, workers could only take sick time to care for themselves, their spouse, or their children.

A Better Balance congratulates our longtime Connecticut partners at She Leads Justice, for their years of leadership on paid leave and continued efforts to expand paid sick time protections for working individuals in the state. We also recognize the contributions of the bill sponsors, Connecticut Working Families, and the entire Connecticut paid sick time coalition on this victory, which will benefit workers and their families across the state.

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