Connecticut Paid Leave (CTPL) is a state benefit program that provides eligible workers with paid family leave to help working families balance caring for their loved ones with their economic security during a qualifying event (outlined below).
Premium collections for this program will begin on January 1, 2021. Benefit payments are scheduled to become available starting January 1, 2022.
Who is eligible?
Connecticut W-2 employees (full-time, part-time)
Covered employees are eligible for benefits if they have earned wages of at least $2,325 in the highest quarter of the first 4 of the previous 5 quarters and are currently employed or have been employed within the last 12 weeks. This includes part-time.
- An employee does not need to work a specific number of hours to be covered under the CT Paid Leave Program.
- Wages may include salary or hourly pay, vacation pay, holiday pay, tips, commissions, severance pay, and the cash value of any “in-kind” payments.
- Those who are self-employed or are sole proprietors are eligible to opt-in to the program.
How do I register my company with CTPLA?
You must register your company with the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority (CTPLA) in order for Justworks to file CTPL premiums on behalf of your business. You can do so by following the below instructions.
- Follow the instructions found in this video to register your business.
- When prompted “How will your business remit payments on behalf of employees?" during "Step 3" of the registration process, you must select the answer “A Third-Party-Administrator” (at 9:11 timestamp in the video).
You can find more information on this page from the CTPLA.
How are premiums collected?
This benefit is 100% funded by Connecticut-based employees through a payroll tax.
- Withholdings apply to all wages paid to employees in Connecticut.
- Employees must contribute ½ of 1% (0.05%) of their wages to this program up to the Social Security Cap.
- Estimate Your Contributions (State Website - indicated at bottom of page)
NOTE: Employees are not allowed to opt-out of making mandatory contributions.
How do my employees file a claim to receive benefits?
Employees can file a claim to apply for benefits via the state website administrated by the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority. Any company information requested while filing a claim should reflect the employee's worksite employer, not Justworks information.
When can covered employees file a claim for benefits?
Eligible employees can apply for up to twelve (12) weeks of paid leave benefits filing a claim to the state when they experience one of the following qualifying reasons:
- Expanding a family: becoming the parent of a new child dependent, either through childbirth, adoption or fostering.
- Recovering from a serious health condition: taking care of either themselves or a sick family member.
- Military family member care: providing for a family member injured during active duty.
Additional benefits available to eligible employees:
- Impacted by family violence: covered employees may receive up to 12 days of leave.
In the event that an eligible employee is experiencing a serious health condition resulting in incapacitation that occurs during pregnancy, they may qualify for an additional two (2) weeks of paid leave benefits under the CTPL program.
Paid leave benefits may be received for time off taken as consecutive days and weeks, but may also be received for time off taken intermittently in certain circumstances.
Connecticut Paid Leave is not job-protected leave. However, employees receiving CTPL benefits may have their leave protected by federal, state, or other laws, including the Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act (CT FMLA) and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
How are benefits paid out?
The current maximum weekly benefit is $840. The maximum weekly benefit is scheduled to eventually raise to $900 on July 1, 2023.
If a worker’s wages are less than or equal to the CT minimum wage multiplied by 40, the weekly benefit will be 95% of the average weekly wage. If workers’ wages exceed CT minimum wage multiplied by 40, the weekly benefit will be 60% of their average weekly wage.
- Where an employer is providing payment under a leave policy in addition to payments provided by CTPL, total compensation from employer-paid benefits plus state benefits cannot equal more than 100% of the employee’s normal wages for any given week of CTPL leave.
Employees also must be able to retain a maximum of two weeks of paid time off. Employers may require that employees use their paid time off, but only up until the point that two weeks of PTO remain. If an employee has two or fewer weeks of PTO banked when their leave commences, their employer will not be able to require them to coordinate their PTO with the benefits provided under CTPL.
Do I have to notify my employees about this program?
Starting July 1, 2022, employers will have to provide written notice to new hires and annually thereafter to all employees with information about program entitlements and claims procedures, most likely via a new workplace poster.
How can my company opt-out?
Employers who prefer to opt-out of this entire scheme may apply to the authority for approval of a private plan, subject to state Insurance Department oversight, as long as the alternate plan provides the same rights, protections, and benefits as the state's program. It is likely that the private insurance sector will step in and develop a comparable program for employers' consideration. In addition, the state may look to such an alternative private sector benefit platform to partner with, as long as it can mesh with the obligation to provide the due process elements that a government-mandated benefit program entails.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.