Gov. Lamont announces new website for Connecticut’s paid family and medical leave program

Gov. Ned Lamont announced in a press release a new website aimed at helping Connecticut residents navigate the state’s paid family and medical leave program, which is set to being in January of 2021.

“No one should have to choose between caring for their family when they need it most, and paying their bills,” Governor Lamont said in a press statement. “This program was put together thoughtfully to ensure that working families in our state don’t have to make that tough choice.”

The program, which will be funded with a .5 percent payroll deduction from Connecticut employees, will provide up to $780 per week for FMLA leave, depending on pay, for up to 12 weeks. The payout will rise as Connecticut’s minimum wage increases to $15 per hour.

FMLA payments, however, can fluctuate depending on how much revenue is brought in through the payroll deduction.

Although the payroll deductions begin in 2021, workers will not be able to utilize the program until 2022. The pre-funding period will help build the trust fund’s coffers before making payments.

Leave can be taken for medical reasons or to care for any blood relative or person who is like family, according to the statute. The individual must have earned at least $2,325 in their highest quarter and are either employed or have been employed within the last 12 weeks. 

The program, which is estimated to cost $18.6 million per year, is run by the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority, a quasi-public entity with Andrea Barton Reeves serving as chief executive officer.

Reeves was selected in January of 2020 to head the Paid Leave Authority and will receive a salary of $210,000.

The 15-member board overseeing the Paid Leave Authority is chaired by Department of Administrative Services Commissioner Josh Geballe and includes appointees by the governor, legislative leaders and the comptroller.

Connecticut paid FMLA program was passed in 2019 and signed into law by Gov. Lamont. 

Businesses pushed back against the legislation, which applies to businesses with more than one employee, a massive expansion from federal FMLA laws that apply to businesses with 50 or more employees.

The Connecticut Business and Industry Association says the mandate will “cripple” small businesses, because they will be hard pressed to find replacement employees during leave absences.

“The last thing we should be doing is adding to the growing cost of running a business in this state,” said Eric Gjede, Vice President of Legislative Outreach for CBIA. 

The legislation was pushed by Connecticut’s labor unions and a variety of organizations such as the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund, the Working Families Party and Connecticut Voices for Children. 

Connecticut’s labor unions have three representatives on the 14-member board: CT AFL-CIO President Sal Luciano, SEIU Organizer Eva Bermudez Zimmerman and Connecticut Education Association employee Justin Zartman. 

“The launching of this comprehensive new website is a significant step forward in our goal to help employers, employees and healthcare providers access these resources, and to provide a gateway to vital information for everyone to better understand their rights, roles and responsibilities in this new program,” Reeves said.

Marc E. Fitch

Marc E. Fitch

Marc E. Fitch is the author of several books and novels including Shmexperts: How Power Politics and Ideology are Disguised as Science and Paranormal Nation: Why America Needs Ghosts, UFOs and Bigfoot. Marc was a 2014 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow and his work has appeared in The Federalist, American Thinker, The Skeptical Inquirer, World Net Daily and Real Clear Policy. Marc has a Master of Fine Arts degree from Western Connecticut State University. Marc can be reached at Marc@YankeeInstitute.org

15 Comments

  1. Avatar Thad Stewart
    September 20, 2020 @ 8:41 am

    King Ned, if you want to pay for this, socialist program out of your own pocket, fine. Wake up, unemployment in the state is at a record high, because you have done your darndest to bankrupt every privately owned small business in the state. Now, you want more money to pay people not to work? The equation just does not add up. STOP and CUT SPENDING, RIGHT NOW!

    Reply

    • Avatar Linda
      November 16, 2020 @ 9:07 pm

      He’s not going to stop until we don’t have a pay check!! He needs to take it out of the CT tax we pay enough is enough

      Reply

  2. Avatar FRANK GEISSLER
    September 20, 2020 @ 10:48 am

    I have been emailing my rep Derek Slap and Mike Demicco demanding that the state cut spending rather than take the easy solution of raising taxes. From their reply’s spending will NEVER be cut.

    Reply

  3. Avatar SKAS
    November 10, 2020 @ 1:41 pm

    WHY ARE WE BEING TAXED AGAIN!!!!!!!… I CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY FOR EVERYONE BEING OUT OF WORK!!!!

    Reply

  4. Avatar John Rentschler
    November 12, 2020 @ 11:57 am

    Will the last working person in CT, please turn out the lights.

    Reply

  5. Avatar John Rentschler
    November 12, 2020 @ 12:59 pm

    Government Employees are exempt from this tax. Go figure.

    Reply

  6. Avatar John Rentschler
    November 12, 2020 @ 1:00 pm

    I wonder if this will be censored?

    Reply

    • Avatar Thad Stewart
      December 6, 2020 @ 7:29 am

      No, because this is a real forum, not a liberal safe space where we have to tap dance around your feelings. The truth is not always pleasant.

      Reply

  7. Avatar Tricia St jean
    November 17, 2020 @ 6:13 pm

    If not used, do the employees get their own money put in back??

    Reply

    • Marc E. Fitch Marc E. Fitch
      November 18, 2020 @ 9:44 am

      No

      Reply

  8. Avatar Jim
    November 19, 2020 @ 2:51 pm

    So the first year our money will go to pay the CEO salary of $200,000+. Are you kidding me. And of course the same people will use this repeatedly. Crazy

    Reply

  9. Avatar Jo
    November 24, 2020 @ 12:57 pm

    This is ridiculous I don’t care his small an amount it is being taken we should have a choice whether we want this ‘benefit’ or not – sick of these officials taking my money – I agree with comment above that it should be taken out of the high taxes we already pay – I don’t remember ‘we the people’ having a say in this

    Reply

  10. Avatar Monica potter
    December 11, 2020 @ 8:53 pm

    The ct paid leavE coming out of my paycheck is pure bulLshit. I am trying to support my household, yes i do Own a home. noW this
    Lamont fool is taking money away from my hoUsehold? Fat chance that he will get my vote come rE-election. And I will spread the word to everyoNe how much he sucks And do not support him in any way whatsoeveR.

    Reply

  11. Avatar DJ Harris
    December 23, 2020 @ 6:09 pm

    This Governor and this state sucks. You know why you don’t hear of anyone retiring to ct. Its because of this idiot and others like him. Why isn’t there any in place for fixed income and childless people to opt out? So let’s see, so far I’ve paid for someone else foundation cracks, I pay to park in a state park but never go because I’m working, a new clean air tax on top of emission and now I’m going to pay for someone else to stay home. Did I mention this Governor sucks. First chance I have I’m out.

    Reply

  12. Avatar Eric
    January 5, 2021 @ 8:19 pm

    I just found out about this today. There should have been more publicity about this to let the people choose. This really should be an option. To force this upon the tax payers is unethical and irresponsible, especially with the progressive sliding scale of payouts. Does this ever stop? More transparency please. Somehow this seems to have slipped through the cracks.

    Reply

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