FMLA: Connecticut

FMLA requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Susan A. P. Woodhouse, Littler

Summary

  • Connecticut employers that are covered by the Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act (CFMLA) must be aware of the requirements of both the state law and the federal FMLA as employees may be protected under both laws. See Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act (CFMLA).
  • The CFMLA differs in several ways from the FMLA (e.g., the hours requirements for eligibility are more lenient under state law). See Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act (CFMLA).
  • Some employers in Connecticut must grant a reasonable leave of absence for a disability resulting from pregnancy or a reasonable accommodation for pregnancy, childbirth or a related condition. See Pregnancy Disability Leave.
  • Employers with 50 or more employees are required to provide 40 hours of paid sick leave per year to service workers. See Paid Sick Leave.

Family and Medical Leave, Generally

Generally, family and medical leave laws require covered employers to provide eligible employees with job-protected leaves of absence for qualifying reasons. The primary federal law governing leave is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Employers covered under the FMLA may also be required to provide leave under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

In addition to the federal laws, Connecticut employers may also be subject to the Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act (CFMLA).

Employers should note that leave required by a state or local law is not taken into account when determining the amount of leave provided by an employer for federal tax credit purposes under the federal tax reform law.

Same-Sex Marriage

Under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), only opposite-sex married couples were allowed to take FMLA leave to care for their spouse. Initial rulings by the Supreme Court and rules issued by the Department of Labor on this topic provided FMLA rights to same-sex spouses based on whether a state recognized same-sex marriage. The definitive decision came when the Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment: (1) requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex; and (2) requires a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state. See Obergefell v. Hodges, +2015 U.S. LEXIS 4250 (U.S. June 26, 2015). Accordingly, same-sex marriage is legal nationwide, and couples lawfully married in any state, including Connecticut, are entitled to FMLA spousal leave benefits.

Connecticut also recognizes civil unions and domestic partnerships from other states and provides such couples with the same rights, benefits and responsibilities as a married couple in Connecticut. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-28a.

Practical Example

Matthew and Joseph entered into a civil union in Illinois. Shortly thereafter, Matthew got a job offer in Connecticut and the couple moved there. Under Connecticut law, Matthew and Joseph will be treated in the same manner as if they were married in Connecticut.

Since Connecticut affords civil unions and domestic partnerships from out-of-state the same treatment under the law as married couples, an employer must provide FMLA leave to otherwise eligible employees in domestic partnerships and civil unions entered into in another state and who currently reside in Connecticut.

Generally, an employer can run FMLA and CFMLA concurrently if the same-sex spouses live in Connecticut and request leave for both an FMLA- and CFMLA-qualifying reason. Because parties to an out-of-state civil union or domestic partnership are treated as married for purposes of Connecticut law, they are afforded the same rights as married couples within the state. When an employee utilizes CFMLA to care for a civil union or domestic partner, FMLA is concurrently utilized because the federal FMLA defers to state law for purposes of defining marriage.

Additionally, a Connecticut employer should be careful if it seeks to confirm an employee's same-sex spousal relationship to ensure it does not discriminate in any way. While the FMLA allows an employer to confirm a family relationship, the employer's practices to confirm such relationships should be the same for employees in same-sex marriages as those in opposite-sex marriages (e.g., if an employer does not ask heterosexual employees for marriage licenses it should be careful about asking homosexual employees for such documentation).

Apart from FMLA considerations, employers with employees residing in Connecticut should look at existing policies that provide for leave based on spousal relationships, such as non-FMLA leave, bereavement leave or military leave. Policy language (such as how a spouse is defined) may need to be revised.

Individual Liability Under the FMLA

An individual may be held liable under the FMLA if he or she is an employer, which includes a person who acts in the interest of an employer. A decision by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Connecticut, New York and Vermont, shows how an HR director may be held liable for mishandling an employee's FMLA leave request.

In Graziadio v. Culinary Inst. of America, +2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 4861 (2d Cir. 2016), a payroll administrator twice took FMLA leave to care for her sons. Her employer was not satisfied with the medical paperwork the employee provided, but did not respond to her repeated queries about what documentation was needed before she could return to work. The employer's HR director engaged in lengthy but unproductive communications with the employee about this paperwork, and the employee was eventually terminated for abandoning her position. The court determined that because the HR director played an important role in the decision to fire the employee and exercised significant control over the employee's schedule and employment conditions, at least with respect to her return from FMLA leave, the HR director could be individually liable as an employer under the FMLA.

Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act (CFMLA)

Covered Employers

The CFMLA applies to any private employer (and the employer's agents and successors-in-interest) within the state that employs 75 or more employees as determined by looking at the number of employees employed (on the payroll) on October 1, annually. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51kk(4). Contrast with the federal FMLA, which covers employers of 50 or more employees.

The Connecticut Supreme Court in Velez v. Commissioner of Labor et al., further interpreted +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51kk(4) to mean that the 75 employees must be located within the state of Connecticut. Thus, if an employer has just one employee in Connecticut and 74 employees in other states, that employer would not be subject to the CFMLA.

Employers must count full-time, part-time and employees on a paid or unpaid leave (including those on suspension) when determining whether the employer has 75 or more employees as long as the employer has a reasonable expectation that the employees will later return to active employment.

Employee Eligibility

An employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,000 hours during the 12 months immediately preceding the requested leave. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51kk(1). This minimum threshold of hours worked is lower than that required for coverage under the FMLA (1,250 hours). So, for example, an employee may be eligible for leave under the CFMLA but not the FMLA if the employee worked 1,150 hours in the 12 months preceding his or her request for leave. See Employee Leaves > FMLA > Determining Employee Eligibility for FMLA Leave.

Purpose and Length of Leave

An employee may take leave under the CFMLA for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The birth, adoption, or placement for foster care of a son or daughter;
  • To care for a parent, spouse, son, daughter or parent of the employee's spouse due to his or her serious health condition;
  • For the employee's own serious health condition;
  • To serve as an organ or bone marrow donor;
  • To care for a spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin who is a member of the armed forces and is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy; is otherwise in an outpatient status; or is on the temporary disability retired list for a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty (Military Caregiver Leave); and
  • Any qualifying exigency due to the fact that the employee's spouse, son, daughter or parent is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty in the armed forces (Military Exigency Leave).

+Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51ll.

Under the CFMLA, a spouse includes a same-sex spouse or out-of-state civil union or domestic partnership.

A parent is defined to include a biological parent, foster parent, adoptive parent, stepparent or legal guardian of the employee or the employee's spouse, or an individual who stood in loco parentis to an eligible employee when the employee was a son or daughter. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51kk(7).

Under the CFMLA, a son or daughter means a biological, adopted or foster child; stepchild; legal ward; or someone to whom the eligible employee stands in loco parentis who is under 18 years of age or incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51kk(11). For purposes of Military Caregiver Leave only, a son or daughter may be any age. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51ll(i).

For the purposes of the CFMLA's Military Caregiver and Military Exigency Leaves, armed forces means the US Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Air Force and US armed forces reserves, including the Connecticut National Guard.

For purposes of Military Caregiver Leave, next of kin means the armed forces member's nearest blood relative, other than his or her spouse, parent, son or daughter, in the following order of priority: blood relatives who have been granted legal custody of the armed forces member by court decree or statutory provisions, brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and first cousins, unless the covered armed forces member has specifically designated in writing another blood relative as his or her nearest blood relative for purposes of military caregiver leave, in which case the designated individual shall be deemed to be the covered armed forces member's next of kin. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51ll(i).

With the exception of Military Caregiver Leave, eligible employees may take a total of 16 weeks of leave during any 24-month period. The 24-month period can be calculated under four methods:

  1. Consecutive calendar years;
  2. Any fixed 24-month period;
  3. A 24-month period measured forward from the employee's first day of leave; or
  4. A rolling 24-month period measured backward from an employee's first day of leave taken.

+Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51ll(a).

For Military Caregiver Leave, the maximum amount of leave is 26 workweeks in a single 12-month period for each armed forces member per serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty. The 12-month period begins on the date the employee first takes leave to care for the covered armed forces member and ends 12 months after that first day of leave. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51ll(i), as amended by Conn. Pub. Act Nos. 09-0070 & 10-0088.

When both spouses are employed by the same employer, their combined CFMLA leave may not exceed a total of 16 workweeks in any 24-month period if such leave is taken for the birth or placement for adoption or foster care of a son or daughter or to care for a sick parent. If both spouses are entitled to Military Caregiver Leave, the combined number of workweeks of leave available may be limited to 26 workweeks during any 12-month period. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51ll(g).

Leave may be taken prior to the pending birth or placement for adoption or foster care of a child. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51ll(b); +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51qq(7).

Practical Example

Pam, a long-term employee of Acme Tree Services, needs to take Military Caregiver Leave to care for her son, an army veteran, due to an injury he suffered in the line of duty. Under both the CFMLA and the federal FMLA, Pam is entitled to up to 26 weeks of Military Caregiver Leave to care for him, but she takes only 20 weeks to do so. After she returns to work, Pam requests to take six weeks of CFMLA leave to serve as an organ donor for her sister. Acme Tree Services grants Pam's request. Pam recovers from her organ donation without complications and returns to work.

Pam requests two weeks of FMLA leave to spend time with her husband, who is on short-term, temporary, Rest and Recuperation leave from his service in Iraq. Pam has no CFMLA leave remaining; however, because organ donation is not a qualifying reason for leave under the FMLA, Pam still has six weeks of FMLA leave remaining. Therefore, Pam is eligible to take FMLA Military Exigency Leave to spend time with her husband.

Reduced Schedule and Intermittent Leave

Employees may take leave intermittently or on a reduced-schedule basis for their own serious health condition or to care for a covered relation who has a serious health condition when such leave is medically necessary. Intermittent or reduced-schedule leave is available to care for a newborn or newly placed child only with the agreement of the employer. When the request for intermittent leave or reduced schedule is made in connection with a foreseeable, planned medical treatment, the employer may require the employee to temporarily transfer to an available alternative position with equivalent pay and benefits that can better accommodate the recurring periods of leave. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51ll(c); +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51qq.

Intermittent or reduced-schedule leave may be used to care for a family member not only when the family member's condition is intermittent but also when the need for care is intermittent.

An employer must make a reasonable effort to transfer a pregnant employee to a suitable temporary position when the employee gives written notice of her pregnancy and the employer or the employee reasonably believes that continued employment in her position may cause injury to the employee or the fetus. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-60(a)(7).

Use of Accrued Vacation/Sick Time

An employer may not take, or threaten to take, any adverse employment action (e.g., demotion or termination) against an employee who seeks to use two weeks of accrued sick leave to attend to a serious health condition of a son, daughter, spouse or parent, or for the birth or placement for adoption or foster care of a child. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51pp(c)(1).

If leave is for the birth or placement of a child, or due to the serious health condition of a family member, an employee may elect or the employer may require the employee to substitute accrued paid vacation leave, personal leave or family leave for any part of the unpaid leave.

If leave is for the employee's own serious health condition or to serve as an organ or bone marrow donor, an employee may elect or the employer may require the employee to substitute accrued paid vacation leave, personal leave, or medical or sick leave for any part of the unpaid leave, although an employer is not required to provide paid sick or medical leave in any situation that it would not normally do so. An employee only has a right to substitute paid medical or sick leave to care for a seriously ill family member if the employer's leave plan allows paid leave to be used for that purpose. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51ll(e)(2); +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51qq.

Notice and Certification Requirements

If the need for leave for the birth or placement of a child or planned medical treatment for a serious health condition of the employee or family member is foreseeable, the employee must provide at least 30 days' notice of the intent to take leave. For foreseeable leave when it is not possible to give as much as 30 days' notice, the employee must provide notice as soon as practicable which means at least within one or two business days of when the need for leave becomes known to the employee. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51qq.

When leave is foreseeable and at least 30 days' notice is provided, the employee shall provide the medical certification before the leave starts. When this is not possible, the employer must allow at least 15 calendar days after it requests certification, unless it is not practicable under the circumstances. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51qq.

An employer must notify employees that they are required to give written notice of their pregnancy in order to be eligible for a transfer, and must notify pregnant employees that a transfer decision may be appealed. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-60(a)(7).

When planning medical treatment (including bone and organ donation), the employee shall consult with the employer and make a reasonable effort to schedule treatment so it will not disrupt the employer's operations, subject to the approval of the health care provider. The employee must provide the employer with 30 days' notice or as soon as is otherwise practicable. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51ll(f); +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51qq.

If an employee fails to give 30 days' notice for foreseeable leave with no reasonable excuse for delay, the employer may delay the taking of leave until at least 30 days after notice was provided. However, it must be clear that the employee had actual notice of the CFMLA notice requirements.

The CFMLA regulations do not allow an employer to delay or deny leave if an employee fails to comply with internal notice policies as long as the employee gives timely or other verbal notice. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51qq.

An employer may require an employee to provide a fitness-for-duty certification before returning from a leave due to the employee's own serious health condition. That certification may only be with regard to the particular health condition that caused the need for leave and the certification itself is only a "simple statement of an employee's ability to return to work." +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51nn(d); +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51qq. This requirement is different from the FMLA, which permits an employer to ask the employee's health care provider to address whether the employee can perform the essential functions of his or her job. Similarly, the CFMLA, unlike the FMLA, does not allow an employer to request a fitness for duty certification for intermittent or reduced schedule leaves.

Employers may require that leave taken because of the serious health condition of the employee or family member or for Military Caregiver Leave be supported by a certification issued by a health care provider stating:

  • The date on which the serious health condition began;
  • The probable duration of the serious health condition;
  • The appropriate medical facts regarding the serious health condition; and
  • A statement that the employee is needed to care for the family member and the amount of time needed, or a statement that the employee is unable to perform the functions of the job.

An employer may require a second and third certification if it has reason to doubt the first certification, and may require recertifications on a reasonable basis not more than once every 30 days, unless required by the health care provider. The employer must request that employee furnish certification from his or her healthcare provider at the time the employee gives notice of the need for leave, or within two business days thereafter. In the case of unforeseen leave, the employer must request the employee furnish the certification within two business days after the leave began. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51qq.

While under the federal FMLA regulations, an employer may have direct contact with an employee's health care provider, to clarify a medical certification, the CFMLA does not allow for such contact. Under the CMFLA, contact must only be between health care providers. Therefore, for leaves under the CFMLA, if there is a question about the adequacy of a health care certification, the employer may not itself request additional information from the employee's health care provider. A health care provider representing the employer may contact the health care provider, with the employee's consent, for the purpose of clarifying and authenticating the medical certification. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51qq.

In addition, under the CFMLA, the certification form cannot include the diagnosis from the health care provider and therefore, the federal FMLA medical certification forms (WH-380E and WH-380F) must be revised to delete that information. The Connecticut Department of Labor provides a medical certification form that can be utilized by employers subject to the CFMLA.

If the employer has reason to doubt the validity of the certification, the employer may require a second certification from another health care provider chosen by the employer. The health care provider may not be regularly employed by the employer. In addition, the employer must bear the cost of the obtaining the second opinion. In the event that the two opinions differ, the employer may require a third opinion from a health care provider approved by both the employer and the employee. Again, the employer must bear the cost of obtaining this opinion. This third opinion is final and binding upon both the employer and employee. An employer may also require recertification upon a reasonable basis. However, such recertification may not be required more than once every 30 days, and will be governed by any applicable collective bargaining agreements. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51mm(e).

In addition, unlike the FMLA, an employer is required to pay for recertifications that are not covered by the employer's health insurance.

Grounds for Denial or Revocation of Leave

The CFMLA does not contain an exemption for highly compensated employees as is the case under the federal FMLA. See Employee Leaves > FMLA > Key Employee Distinctions. Under the CFMLA, an employer may not delay or deny leave because an employee fails to comply with the employer's internal policies, as long as the employee gives "timely verbal or other notice" of the need for leave. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51qq.

Reinstatement

The CFMLA is more restrictive on employers with regard to their reinstatement obligations for employees returning to work from CFMLA leave. Employees who take leave under the CFMLA are entitled to be returned to their original position unless that position is not available, in which case the employee is entitled to be placed in an equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay and other terms and conditions of employment. An employee who is medically unable to perform his or her original job upon the expiration of CFMLA leave is entitled to be transferred to a position suitable to the employee's physical condition, if such a position is available. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51nn.

Failure to reinstate the employee to her original or an equivalent position upon his or her signifying his or her intent to return is an unlawful discriminatory practice unless the employer's circumstances have so changed as to make it impossible or unreasonable to reinstate the employee. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-60(a)(7).

Notice and Posting Requirements

Employers in Connecticut are not required to post notices regarding the CFMLA. However, any covered employer with CFMLA eligible employees that provides written guidance to employees concerning employee benefits or leave rights, such as in an employee handbook, must provide information concerning CFMLA entitlements and employee obligations under the CFMLA in the handbook or other document. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51qq.

If a covered employer does not have written policies, manuals or handbooks describing employee benefits and leave provisions, the employer must provide written guidance to an employee concerning the employee's rights and obligations under the CFMLA no less often than the first time in each six-month period that an employee gives notice of the need for CFMLA leave (if CFMLA leave is taken during the six-month period). The CFMLA requires that the specific notice include, at a minimum and as appropriate:

  • That the leave will be counted against the employee's leave entitlement;
  • Any requirements for the employee to furnish medical certification of a serious health condition and the consequences of failing to do so;
  • The employee's right to substitute paid leave and whether the employer will require the substitution of paid leave, and the conditions relating to substitution;
  • Any requirement for the employee to present a fitness-for-duty certificate to be restored to employment; and
  • The employee's right to restoration to the same or an equivalent job upon return from leave.

The notice must be given within a reasonable time after notice of the need for leave is given by the employee - within one or two business days if feasible. If leave has already begun, the notice should be mailed to the employee's address of record.

Other Important Issues to Consider

Bonuses

Under the federal FMLA, employers may deny employees bonuses that are based on achievement of a specified goal, such as attendance, if they have not met the goal due to FMLA. However, under the CFMLA, an employer is prohibited from depriving an employee of any benefit that he or she may have accrued prior to the date the employee began CFMLA leave. For example, if an employee has met all of the requirements for an attendance bonus but for taking CFMLA leave, the employee may not be disqualified from the bonus for the taking of CFMLA leave. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51qq.

Benefits

Although the CFMLA does not require employers to maintain health benefits during leave, CFMLA requires that the employee be provided the same or equivalent pay, benefits and terms and conditions of employment and that obligation may not be fulfilled if the employee cannot return to the same health benefits coverage after leave. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51qq. Under the CFMLA accrual of seniority and other employment benefits freeze until the employee returns from leave. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-51nn(c).

Pregnancy Disability Leave

The Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act makes it an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer with three or more employees (or an employer's agent) to, among other things:

  • Terminate a woman's employment because of her pregnancy;
  • Refuse to grant a pregnant employee a reasonable leave of absence for disability resulting from her pregnancy;
  • Deny an employee who is disabled as a result of pregnancy any compensation to which she is entitled as a result of the accumulation of disability or leave benefits accrued under plains maintained by the employer;
  • Fail or refuse to reinstate an employee to her original job or an equivalent position with equivalent pay and accumulated seniorit, retirement and fringe benefits and other service credits upon her signifying an intent to return unless, in the case of a private employer, the employer's circumstances have so changed as to make it impossible or unreasonable to do so;
  • Fail or refuse to provide reasonable accommodations (including time off to recover from childbirth) to employees and applicants for pregnancy, childbirth or a related condition, including lactation, unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer's business; or
  • Require that an employee take a leave of absence if another reasonable accommodation can be provided in lieu of such leave.

+Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-60.

Employers with 50 or more employees in the state (based on the number of employees on the payroll for the week containing October 1, annually) are required to provide 40 hours of paid sick leave per year to service workers. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-57s. Employers are prohibited from terminating any employee or transferring any employee from one worksite to another solely to avoid qualifying as a covered employer under the statute.

A service worker is defined as an hourly, nonexempt employee engaged in an occupation with one of a large group of "broad or detailed occupation code numbers and titles" as defined by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics Standard Occupational Classification system including cooks, dishwashers, couriers, office clerks, retail salespersons, etc.

A service worker may use paid sick days for the following reasons:

  • His or her own, a spouse's (including a same-sex spouse or out-of-state civil union or domestic partner) or a child's illness, injury or health condition;
  • The medical diagnosis, care or treatment of the worker's, a spouse's or a child's mental or physical illness, injury or health condition;
  • Preventative medical care for the worker, a spouse or a child; and
  • If a service worker is a victim of family violence or sexual assault, for medical care or psychological or other counseling for physical or psychological injury or disability; to obtain services from a victim services organization; to relocate due to such family violence or sexual assault; and to participate in any civil or criminal proceedings related to or resulting from such family violence or sexual assault.

+Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-57t.

Each covered service worker may accrue one hour of paid sick leave for each 40 hours worked, beginning on the first day of employment, up to a maximum of 40 hours of such leave per year. While employees may carry over up to 40 unused accrued hours, they may use only 40 hours of paid sick leave in any one year. A year means any 365-day period used by an employer to calculate employee benefits.

Service workers may be required to provide seven days' notice for foreseeable uses of paid sick leave. If the leave is for three or more consecutive days, employers may also request "reasonable documentation" from the service worker. +Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-57t.

Employers must provide notice to each service worker at the time of hiring:

  • Of the entitlement to paid sick leave;
  • That retaliation for requesting or using sick leave is prohibited; and
  • That the service worker has a right to file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner for a violation of the Act.

Employers may comply with the notice requirement by displaying a poster in both English and Spanish in a conspicuous place accessible to service workers.

For additional information on this law, see Other Leaves: Connecticut; Guidance on Paid Sick Leave from the Connecticut Department of Labor.

Interaction of State and Federal Leave Laws

There are numerous types of other leaves that may be available to Connecticut employees - some required by federal, state or local law, and some provided by company policy, as well as several sources of income replacement. See Employee Leaves > Other Leaves: Connecticut.

Connecticut employers must be conscious of the interaction between the FMLA, the Connecticut FMLA and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). An employee with a serious health condition who exhausts his or her leave entitlement under the state and federal FMLA may nonetheless be entitled to additional leave, if additional leave would be considered a reasonable accommodation under the ADA and the employee is otherwise eligible for protection under the ADA. The FMLA regulations state that the ADA allows an indeterminate amount of leave, barring undue hardship to the employer, as a reasonable accommodation. See also Disabilities (ADA) > ADA Interplay; Disabilities (ADA): Connecticut.

Further, as discussed above, the Human Rights and Opportunities Law provides for pregnancy disability leave. Such leave may run concurrently with leave under the state and federal FMLA if the employee otherwise qualifies. Smaller Connecticut employers, e.g., those with between three and 50 employees, must be mindful that their employees may qualify for leaves of absence as an accommodation for pregnancy disability even though their employees do not qualify for leave under state and federal FMLA.

Connecticut employers should also remember that an additional leave of absence may be appropriate as a reasonable accommodation under Connecticut law and/or the American with Disabilities Act, even if all legally required and company-provided leave has been exhausted. See Disabilities (ADA): Connecticut; Disabilities (ADA): Federal.

While some of these laws can run at the same time, others cannot. Connecticut employers should remain alert to the various types of leave available and take care to track employees' leaves of absence, including:

  • The date the leave begins;
  • The type of leave; and
  • The expected return date.

Future Developments

There are no developments to report at this time. Continue to check XpertHR regularly for the latest information on this and other topics.

Additional Resources

Employee Leaves > FMLA

Employee Leaves > Other Leaves: Connecticut

A Multistate Employer Victory: Only Connecticut Employees Must Be Counted When Determining if a Company is an "Employer" Under the CFMLA

Connecticut Department of Labor, Family and Medical Leave Act

Connecticut's FMLA Decisions

Connecticut Department of Labor, Guidance on the Interaction of the FMLA and the CFMLA Regulations

Connecticut Department of Labor, Overview of Paid Sick Leave