Connecticut's Medical Leave program to launch Jan. 1

It's only a few dollars a week, but starting soon, your paycheck will get a little bit smaller due to the new Medical Leave program.

News 12 Staff

Nov 17, 2020, 10:19 PM

Updated 1,315 days ago

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It's only a few dollars a week, but starting soon, your paycheck will get a little bit smaller due to the new Medical Leave program.
The average Connecticut worker will see about $3 to $4 taken out of each paycheck, but the dividends could be big. If you need to take care of a loved one - the state will cover most of your paycheck.
North Canaan resident Jessica McCue's daughter requires a lot of care.
"She's 14 and she has significant special needs," she says.
McCue has to choose between taking care of her daughter and getting a paycheck because Connecticut doesn't yet have paid family leave.
"I don't want to collect unemployment, but I'm having such a challenge getting to work right now," she says.
That's about to change.
The state's new leave program launches Jan. 1, but state leaders are warning you can't collect benefits until 2022.
The fund needs a year to raise enough money.
"We're looking at about $485 million in collections," says Paid Leave Authority CEO Andrea Barton Reeves. "About $325 million in claims."
Once it starts, you can take off to care for yourself, your spouse, your kids, your parents and even grandparents. Even siblings and in-laws are included.
You also get paid for a birth, adoption, or fostering a child, donating an organ or if you're a victim of family violence.
The state will pay most of your salary for up to 12 weeks.
Employees can claim up to $780 per week, depending on their salary, beginning in January 2022. To file a claim, employees will have to submit medical documentation.
If their employer denies the claim, they can appeal to the Connecticut Department of Labor.
Connecticut's top business group says this is the "most onerous" family leave law in the nation.
"Everyone knows we had opposed this bill," says Eric Gejde, of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association. CBIA worries the law will lead to workers abusing the program and taking exorbitant amount of time off.
McCue sees it differently. She says it'll allow her to keep working -- and keep parenting.
"If you were a caregiver, you would see a totally different dynamic," she says.
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