Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 913

January Session, 2011

 

LCO No. 2862

 

*_____SB00913APP___051111____*

Referred to Committee on Labor and Public Employees

 

Introduced by:

 

(LAB)

 

AN ACT MANDATING EMPLOYERS PROVIDE PAID SICK LEAVE TO EMPLOYEES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2012) As used in this section and sections 2 to 5, inclusive, of this act:

(1) "Child" means a biological, adopted or foster child, stepchild, legal ward of an employee, or a child of an employee standing in loco parentis, who is (A) under eighteen years of age; or (B) eighteen years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability;

(2) "Day or temporary worker" means an individual who performs work for another on (A) a per diem basis, or (B) an occasional or irregular basis for only the time required to complete such work, whether such individual is paid by the person for whom such work is performed or by an employment agency or temporary help service, as defined in section 31-129 of the general statutes;

(3) "Employee" means any person, engaged in service to an employer in the business of the employer, who has worked a minimum of five hundred twenty hours for the employer within the past twelve months and is (A) paid on an hourly basis, or (B) not exempt from the minimum wage and overtime compensation requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and the regulations promulgated thereunder, as amended from time to time. "Employee" does not include (i) day or temporary workers, and (ii) employees of any constituent unit of the state system of higher education, as defined in section 10a-1 of the general statutes, who are part-time or adjunct faculty members, university assistants working less than twenty hours per week, educational assistants or other part-time professional employees;

(4) "Employer" means any person, firm, business, educational institution, nonprofit agency, corporation, limited liability company or other entity that employs fifty or more persons in the state;

(5) "Family violence" has the same meaning as provided in section 46b-38a of the general statutes;

(6) "Parent" means a biological parent, foster parent, adoptive parent, stepparent or legal guardian of an employee or an employee's spouse, or an individual who stood in loco parentis to an employee when the employee was a child;

(7) "Retaliatory personnel action" means any termination, suspension, constructive discharge, demotion, unfavorable reassignment, refusal to promote, disciplinary action or other adverse employment action taken by an employer against an employee;

(8) "Sexual assault" means any act that constitutes a violation of section 53a-70, 53a-70a, 53a-70b, 53a-71, 53a-72a, 53a-72b or 53a-73a of the general statutes; and

(9) "Spouse" means a husband or wife, as the case may be.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2012) (a) Each employer shall provide paid sick leave annually to each of such employer's employees in the state. Such paid sick leave shall accrue (1) beginning January 1, 2012, or for an employee hired after said date, beginning on the employee's date of employment, (2) at a rate of one hour of paid sick leave for each forty hours worked by an employee, and (3) in one-hour increments up to a maximum of forty hours per calendar year. Each employee shall be entitled to carry over up to forty unused accrued hours of paid sick leave from the current calendar year to the following calendar year, but no employee shall be entitled to use more than the maximum number of accrued hours, as described in subdivision (3) of this subsection, in any year.

(b) An employee shall be entitled to the use of accrued paid sick leave upon the completion of the employee's six-hundred-eightieth hour of employment from January 1, 2012, if the employee was hired prior to January 1, 2012, or if hired after January 1, 2012, upon the completion of the employee's six-hundred-eightieth hour of employment from the date of hire, unless the employer agrees to an earlier date.

(c) An employer shall be deemed to be in compliance with this section if the employer offers any other paid leave, or combination of other paid leave that (1) may be used for the purposes of section 3 of this act, and (2) is accrued in total at a rate equal to or greater than the rate described in subsections (a) and (b) of this section. For the purposes of this subsection, "other paid leave" may include, but is not limited to, paid vacation, personal days or paid time off.

(d) Each employer shall pay each employee for paid sick leave at a pay rate equal to the greater of either (1) the normal hourly wage for that employee, or (2) the minimum fair wage rate under section 31-58 of the general statutes in effect for the pay period during which the employee used paid sick leave. For any employee whose hourly wage varies depending on the work performed by the employee, the "normal hourly wage" shall mean the average hourly wage of the employee in the pay period prior to the one in which the employee used paid sick leave.

(e) Nothing in sections 1 to 5, inclusive, of this act shall be construed to (1) prevent employers from providing more paid sick leave than is required under this section, (2) diminish any rights provided to any employee under a collective bargaining agreement, or (3) preempt or override the terms of any collective bargaining agreement effective prior to January 1, 2012.

(f) Nothing in sections 1 to 5, inclusive, of this act shall be construed to prohibit an employer (1) from establishing a policy whereby an employee may donate unused accrued paid sick leave to another employee, and (2) who provides more paid sick leave than is required under this section for the purposes described in subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 3 of this act from limiting the amount of such leave an employee may use for other purposes.

(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 1 to 5, inclusive, of this act and upon the mutual consent of the employee and employer, an employee that chooses to work additional hours or shifts during the same or following pay period, in lieu of hours or shifts missed, shall not use accrued paid sick leave, provided the employer does not require the employee to work such additional hours or shifts.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2012) (a) An employer shall permit an employee to use the paid sick leave accrued pursuant to section 2 of this act:

(1) For (A) an employee's illness, injury or health condition, (B) the medical diagnosis, care or treatment of an employee's mental or physical illness, injury or health condition, or (C) preventative medical care for an employee;

(2) For (A) a child's, parent's or spouse's illness, injury or health condition, (B) the medical diagnosis, care or treatment of a child's, parent's or spouse's mental or physical illness, injury or health condition, or (C) preventative medical care for a child, parent or spouse;

(3) Where an employee is a victim of family violence or sexual assault (A) for medical care or psychological or other counseling for physical or psychological injury or disability, (B) to obtain services from a victim services organization, (C) to relocate due to such family violence or sexual assault, or (D) to participate in any civil or criminal proceedings related to or resulting from such family violence or sexual assault.

(b) If an employee's need to use paid sick leave is foreseeable, an employer may require advance notice, not to exceed seven days prior to the date such leave is to begin, of the intention to use such leave. If an employee's need for such leave is not foreseeable, an employer may require an employee to give notice of such intention as soon as practicable. For paid sick leave of three or more consecutive days, an employer may require reasonable documentation that such leave is being taken for the purpose permitted under subsection (a) of this section. If such leave is permitted under subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection (a) of this section, documentation signed by a health care provider who is treating the employee or the employee's child or parent indicating the need for the number of days of such leave shall be considered reasonable documentation. If such leave is permitted under subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of this section, a court record or documentation signed by an employee or volunteer working for a victim services organization, an attorney, a police officer or other counselor involved with the employee shall be considered reasonable documentation.

(c) Nothing in sections 1 to 5, inclusive, of this act shall be deemed to require any employer to provide paid sick leave for an employee's leave for any purpose other than those described in this section.

(d) Unless an employee policy or collective bargaining agreement provides for the payment of accrued fringe benefits upon termination, no employee shall be entitled to payment of unused accrued sick time under this section upon termination of employment.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2012) (a) No employer shall take retaliatory personnel action or discriminate against an employee because the employee (1) requests or uses paid sick leave in accordance with sections 2 and 3 of this act, or (2) files a complaint with the Labor Commissioner alleging the employer's violation of sections 2 to 5, inclusive, of this act. The Labor Commissioner shall administer this section within available appropriations.

(b) Any employer who is found by the Labor Commissioner, by a preponderance of the evidence, to have violated the provisions of sections 2 to 5, inclusive, of this act shall be liable to the Labor Department for a civil penalty of six hundred dollars for each violation. The Labor Commissioner may award the employee all appropriate relief, including rehiring or reinstatement to the employee's previous job, payment of back wages and reestablishment of employee benefits to which the employee otherwise would have been eligible if the employee had not been subject to such retaliatory personnel action or discriminated against. Any party aggrieved by the decision of the commissioner may appeal the decision to the Superior Court in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes.

Sec. 5. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2012) Each employer subject to the provisions of section 2 of this act shall, at the time of hiring, provide notice to each employee (1) of the employee's entitlement to sick leave, the amount of sick leave provided and the terms under which sick leave may be used, (2) that retaliation by the employer against the employee for requesting or using sick leave is prohibited, and (3) that the employee has a right to file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner for any violation of sections 2 to 5, inclusive, of this act. Employers may comply with the provisions of this section by displaying a poster in a conspicuous place, accessible to employees, at the employer's place of business that contains the information required by this section in both English and Spanish. The Labor Commissioner may adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54 of the general statutes, to establish additional requirements concerning the means by which employers shall provide such notice. The Labor Commissioner shall administer this section within available appropriations.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

January 1, 2012

New section

Sec. 2

January 1, 2012

New section

Sec. 3

January 1, 2012

New section

Sec. 4

January 1, 2012

New section

Sec. 5

January 1, 2012

New section

LAB

Joint Favorable

 

JUD

Joint Favorable

 

APP

Joint Favorable