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Connecticut Expanding Paid Sick and Safe Leave Uses

19 Jul


Update applicable to:

The law currently applies only to employers with 50 or more employees in Connecticut and excludes many manufacturers and specific non-profit organizations.

What happened?

On June 26, 2023, Connecticut’s governor approved SB 2, a bill that enhances the reasons for which covered employees can utilize paid sick and safe leave under the state’s existing law. The changes will take effect on October 1, 2023.

What are the details?

Connecticut has had a mandatory paid sick and safe leave law since 2012, but it has certain limitations. Covered employees are primarily service workers in various industries such as retail, healthcare, hospitality, custodial, and food service. They earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked, with a maximum of 40 hours per year.

Under the new legislation, SB 2, two key expansions have been made. Firstly, service workers will be allowed to use sick leave for a “mental health wellness day.” This means that instead of working their regular shift, they can take a day off to focus on their emotional and psychological well-being. Secondly, service workers can now take safe leave if they are a parent or guardian of a child who is a victim of family violence or sexual assault. This provision applies as long as the employee is not the alleged perpetrator.

The leave can be used for purposes such as obtaining medical care, psychological or other counseling, accessing services from victim services organizations, relocating due to violence or assault, or participating in legal proceedings related to the incident.

For more information, please see the links below:

Official Bill Page

Bill: SB2


What do employers need to do?

The Littler Law Firm states1 that employers have three months to review and, if necessary, revise their leave policies and practices and educate their employees on the new paid sick and safe leave uses. The amendment extending safe leave to family members who are victims of family violence or sexual assault may have limited impact on multi-state employers doing business in Connecticut that are already required to allow such leave in other jurisdictions; however, the new sick leave provision allowing for mental health days is likely new territory.

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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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