Today Connecticut joined six other states and the District of Columbia in enacting a statewide paid family and medical leave policy. Once the law is in effect, working people in Connecticut will be able to take 12 paid weeks away from work to welcome a new child or address serious personal or family caregiving needs.
Connecticut’s program is based on a model that has worked well in other states and improves upon existing state paid leave laws in critical ways. The law has a progressive wage replacement rate, job protection for all workers taking leave, regardless of employer size, and an inclusive family definition that goes beyond the Family and Medical Leave Act to include siblings, grandchildren, grandparents, and any other individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family member.
While multiple states have passed paid leave laws, only 17 percent of working people have paid family leave through their employers, and less than 40 percent have personal medical leave through an employer-provided short-term disability program.
“This latest paid leave victory would not have been possible without the hard work and persistence of the Connecticut Campaign for Paid Family Leave, led by the Connecticut Women’s Legal and Education Fund and CT Working Families,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families. “This legislation ensures that Connecticut is a state where women and families can thrive. We implore Congress to follow Connecticut’s lead and enact a comprehensive paid leave policy that expands the definition of family and provides wage replacement that makes it affordable for everyone to take leave. Members of Congress should support the Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act — the only national paid leave plan currently before Congress that aligns with the principles of a strong paid leave policy.”