In recent years, the Connecticut General Assembly has considered bills that would require employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave. In its recently published “Major Issues” document, the Office of Legislative Research (“OLR”) identified paid sick leave as an issue that the Assembly will likely address in 2011.
Both the House and the Senate have previously passed versions of sick-leave bills, but the bills were not passed during the same session and did not garner enough votes to withstand a veto by Governor Jodi Rell. The proposed sick-leave bills varied with regard to the number of employees necessary to trigger coverage and coverage of groups such as temporary workers. The 2009 version of the bill applied only to companies with 50 or more employees, and companies that already offered paid time off would have been deemed in compliance. The bill would have required up to five paid sick days based on hours worked.
Governor-elect Dan Malloy has voiced support for mandatory paid sick leave in the past, and has opined that “providing paid sick days to employees isn’t just the right and fair thing to do, it’s also good public policy.” Given the suggestions of the OLR and the Governor-elect’s support, it is likely that the legislature will propose a paid sick-leave bill in the coming year. If Connecticut passes such a bill, it will be the first state in the nation to do so.