By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff
On May 31, the Connecticut legislature finalized a bill that will create and implement a Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FMLI) program to provide wage replacement benefits for certain employees taking leave for reasons permitted under the state’s Family and Medical Leave Act or family violence leave law. Governor Ned Lamont has announced his intention to sign the bill.
"An Act Concerning Paid Family and Medical Leave" would give eligible employees up to 12 weeks of FMLI benefits over a 12-month period. Two additional weeks of benefits would be available for a serious health condition that results in incapacitation during pregnancy.
Eligibility. Under the measure, those eligible for benefits must have earned at least $2,325 during their highest earning quarter within their base period (the first four of the five most recently completed quarters) and:
- are private-sector employees or certain “covered public employees;”
- were employed in the previous 12 weeks; or
- are sole proprietors or self-employed individuals who voluntarily enroll in the program.
Funded by employee contributions. The program would be funded by employee contributions, with collections beginning in January 2021, based on the annual employee contribution rate determined by the Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Authority. The contribution rate may not exceed 0.5 percent.
The bill also would cap the amount of an employee’s earnings that are subject to contributions at the same amount of earnings subject to Social Security taxes (currently $132,900).
Weekly benefits. The program would provide weekly benefits generally calculated as 95 percent of a covered employee’s average weekly wage, up to 40 times the state minimum wage, plus 60 percent of the employee’s average weekly wage that exceeds 40 times the minimum wage, with total benefits capped at 60 times the minimum wage.
Notably, if employee contributions are at the maximum rate permitted, and the Authority determines they are insufficient to ensure the program’s solvency, the Authority is required to reduce the benefit by the minimum amount necessary to ensure the program’s solvency.
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