Governor Lamont Announces More Than 108,000 Businesses Registered for Connecticut Paid and Medical Leave Program, Submitted $102M in First Quarter Contributions
Registrations and Collection Exceed Projections for New Benefit Program
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority has registered 108,911 businesses and collected more than $102 million in first quarter contributions for Connecticut’s newly established paid family and medical leave program, surpassing initial projections.
Businesses began registering for the program on January 1, 2021. Paid leave benefits will become accessible to qualified workers across the state beginning January 1, 2022.
“No one should have to choose between caring for their family when they need it most, and paying their bills,” Governor Lamont said. “This program was put together thoughtfully to ensure that working families in our state don’t have to make that tough choice. Now more than ever, it’s important that we make these tools available. If we’ve learned anything from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s the importance of planning ahead.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the inequities and disparities that exist in every aspect of our society – from childcare and healthcare to education and employment,” Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said. “We needed paid family and medical leave long before this public health emergency, but this pandemic underscored the critical need for this program as too many of our workers had to take time off to care for a loved one, a family member or themselves. That’s why I am so excited that Connecticut continues to lead the way in creating a working environment where everyone can succeed. Not only did the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority meet their goal of registering 104,000 businesses, they surpassed it. This monumental milestone could not have been achieved without the tireless work of our Connecticut Paid Leave Authority, business owners, employees, and advocates.”
“We are very pleased with the first quarter results,” Connecticut Paid Leave Authority CEO Andrea Barton Reeves said. “The paid leave program has been fully developed during the pandemic, when many of Connecticut’s businesses were struggling just to survive. Business cooperation with this new process has been extraordinary and workers across Connecticut who will be eligible for paid leave next year will be the beneficiaries.”
The authority had set a goal of registering 104,000 businesses. Actuarial projections for the paid leave program set first quarter contributions at $67 million. Businesses are required to submit withholding quarterly.
Barton Reeves said the first quarter results are particularly gratifying given the timeline of development. The paid leave program was signed into law by Governor Lamont in 2019. Barton Reeves was named CEO in March 2020, and the authority began outreach to businesses for registration in November 2020.
Barton Reeves said the authority will now focus on identifying and reaching out to the small businesses that do not meet the Department of Labor definition of businesses because they have fewer than ten employees. Those businesses are also required to withhold on behalf of employees. While many have already registered, Barton Reeves said the authority will work to ensure they have communicated with as many as possible.
The program is 100% employee funded through payroll deductions of half a percent from employee paychecks. Withholding began on January 1.
Employees who are eligible for up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period must have earned $2,325 in the highest earning quarter of the past five quarters, must be currently employed or previously employed, and working in the state during the 12 weeks immediately preceding the leave request.
Qualifying reasons include birth of a child or placement of a child for adoption or foster care; caring for your health or that of a loved one or family member; serving as an organ or bone marrow donor; caring for a family member injured in military active duty; or being impacted by family violence.