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Connecticut FMLA

Connecticuts's family and medical leave laws cover both private and public employers.

Private-Sector Employers(Conn. Gen. Stat. Chapter 557 § 31-51kk to 31-51qq)

Covers employers with 75 or more employees (determined annually on Oct. 1). Provides up to 16 weeks of unpaid family leave or medical leave within a two-year period for:

  • Birth, adoption or foster care.
  • Serious illness of an employee's child, step-child, legal wards (and children for whom employee stands "in loco parentis"), spouse or parent, foster parents, step-parents, parents-in-law, and legal guardians.
  • Employee's own serious illness.
  • Donation of bone marrow.

Currently, there is a legal dispute over whether the statute covers employers with 75 or more employees only within the state of Connecticut or throughout the United States. In the meantime, employers with as many as one employee in Connecticut should consider consulting counsel about granting leave under Connecticut law.

Connecticut recognizes civil unions for same-sex couples, therefore the same legal benefits apply to same-sex couples, including serious health conditions of a domestic partner and serious health conditions of a partner's parent or child.

Employee Eligibility

An employee is eligible if the employee has worked for the employer for 12 months or more and for 1,000 or more hours in the 12-month period preceding the first day of leave. Spouses employed by the same employer may take a combined total of 16 weeks of FMLA in a two-year period if the leave is for the birth, adoption, placement of a foster child, or to care for a sick parent.

Methods to Determine Leave Period

Eligible employees are entitled to a total of 16 workweeks in any two-year period, to be determined by using any of the following methods:

  • Consecutive calendar years.
  • Any fixed 24-month period beginning at the employee's first date of employment.
  • A 24-month period measured from the employee's first day of leave.
  • A rolling 24-month period measured backward from employee's first day of leave.

Notice Requirement

An employee must provide the employer with at least 30 days' notice, if possible, when requesting leave for his or her own serious illness or family leave for the serious illness of a child, spouse or parent.

Written Certification May Be Requested

An employer may require certification from a healthcare provider to substantiate an employee's request for a serious health condition. Such certifications must include:

  • Date on which serious health condition commenced.
  • Probable duration of condition.
  • Appropriate medical facts within the knowledge of the health care provider regarding the condition.

Continuation of Benefits

Taking family or medical leave will not result in the loss of any employee benefits accrued prior to the date on which leave began.

Substitution of Paid Leave

In substitution of paid leave for unpaid FMLA leave, Connecticut law mirrors FMLA. Under FMLA leave for birth, adoption or to care for a spouse, child or parent with a serious health condition or for employee's serious health condition:

  • Eligible employees may choose to substitute accrued vacation, personal, or family leave.
  • Eligible employers may require employee to substitute accrued vacation, personal, or family leave.
  • Eligible employees may choose or be required to use accrued vacation, person or sick leave in place of unpaid FMLA leave.
  • Employers are not required to provide paid sick leave in any circumstances in which it would not normally provide such paid leave.

Public Act No. 03-213 permits an employee to use up to two weeks of accumulated, paid sick leave to attend to a serious health condition or a son or daughter, spouse, parent or birth or adoption.

Birth or Adoption

Employees, taking leave for birth or adoption of a child, are required to provide at least 30 days notice when possible of intent to take leave. State law also provides for intermittent leave for birth or adoption of a child if mutually agreed upon by the employer and employee.

Intermittent Leave Permitted

When the need for intermittent leave is foreseeable, upon employee's request, the employer may require employee to transfer temporarily to an available alternate position for which employee is qualified, with equivalent pay, benefits and which better accommodates intermittent leave. Such arrangements must not conflict with established collective bargaining agreements.


When leave has expired, an employee is entitled to:

  • Be reinstated to his or her original job and pay.
  • If the job is no longer available, to an equivalent job with equivalent pay.
  • To all accumulated seniority, retirement, fringe benefits and other service credits that the employee had at the beginning of the leave period.

Family Violence

In accordance with Public Action 10-144, employers with at least 3 workers must offer up to 12 days unpaid leave per calendar year to:

  • Employees who are victims of family violence crimes; or
  • Employees whose family or household members are victims of family violence crimes.

Family or household members are defined as:

  • Current or former spouses.
  • Parents and children.
  • Individuals related by blood or marriage who are at least 18 years of age.
  • Individuals with a child in common.
  • Individuals who are, or recently have been in a dating relationship.

Reasons for leave include:

  • To seek medical care or counseling.
  • To obtain services from a victims services organization.
  • To relocate due to family violence.
  • To participate in civil or criminal proceedings due to family violence.

Employers may require 7 days notice of foreseeable leave and may require a written statement to certify that the leave is for authorized reason.

Employers may request police or court report, or written statement from a service organization, attorney, medical professional or state victims rights advocate.

Records and statements must be kept confidential unless disclosure is required by law, or to protect employee's safety in the workplace. Employee must be notified in advance of such disclosure.

Public-Sector Employers (Conn. Gen. Stat.§ 5-248a)

Allows a state employee, including those in same-sex unions, up to 24 weeks of unpaid leave with in a 2-year period for the following reasons:

  • Birth or adoption of a child.
  • Serious illness of an employee's child, spouse, parent, domestic partner, or domestic partner's child or parent.
  • Employee's own serious illness.
  • Donation of an organ or bone marrow.

This leave is in addition to any type of paid leave or benefits provided to state employees.

Employee Eligibility (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 5-196)

This law pertains to "permanent employee", defined as employees in classified service under permanent appointment or employment, or unclassified service employees who have served in the position for more than six months.

Written Certification Required

When requesting medical leave due to a serious illness, an employee must provide written certification from a physician stating the type of illness and it's probable duration.

Continuation of Benefits

The state must continue to pay for health insurance benefits for employees while on family or medical leave. To continue other health benefit coverage (for spouse or dependents), the employee must contribute the same portion of the premium that he or she was responsible before taking leave.

Statement of Intent to Return Required

Prior to the start of leave, an employee must present the employer with a signed statement of intent to return to work upon expiration of leave. (This is not required by federal FMLA.)

FMLA in Connecticut

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