In a press conference on December 1, 2021, Governor Ned Lamont, along with Connecticut Paid Leave Authority Chief Executive Officer Andrea Barton Reeves, announced that the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority is now accepting applications for Connecticut residents who want to participate in the state’s new paid family and medical leave program. Approved applicants will be eligible to receive benefits beginning January 1, 2022.
The Connecticut Paid Leave Authority expects 1,000 – 1,500 applications per day, and indicated the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority is prepared to handle that level of applications.
In its Human Resouces Toolkit, the Connecticut Leave Authority outlines the “process when a worker tells you they’re applying for CT paid leave.”
How Do Employees Apply for Leave?
The Connecticut Paid Leave Authority is partnering with the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority’s benefits administrator to oversee the administration of paid leave benefits claims. Employees may submit applications via the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority’s online portal, telephone, fax, mail, or email. Employees have 15 days from the initiation of a claim to provide all requested documentation and should, according to the state, know their approval status five days after completing the required paperwork.
Employees must notify their employers or their human resources departments at least 30 days prior to the start of leave for foreseen circumstances, and as soon as is practicable for unforeseen circumstances.
Employer’s Role in Application Process
As part of the paid leave application process, employees will need to ask their employers to complete an employment verification form. Employers must complete the employment verification form and return it to the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority’s benefits administrator within 10 days. Employers are also required to notify employees that they may be eligible for Connecticut paid leave benefits whenever they notify their employers of their intent to take leave.
If the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority denies an employee’s claim, the employer is not responsible for filing any documents on the employee’s behalf. Employees may file a request for reconsideration with the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority’s benefits administrator within 10 days of a denial.
Employers may require workers to use vacation days or paid time off before they receive Connecticut paid leave benefits; however, employers must allow employees to retain up to 2 weeks of paid time off while on Connecticut family and medical leave.
The state will make approved claim payments to employees two weeks in arrears either via a stored value card or by direct deposit. The Connecticut Paid Leave Authority will not issue paper checks.
Ogletree Deakins will continue to monitor and report on developments with respect to Connecticut employers’ paid leave requirements and will post updates to the firm’s Connecticut and Leaves of Absence blogs as additional information becomes available. Important information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar and podcast programs.