The CT Paid Family and Medical Leave program went live 1/1/2022 with benefits being paid to eligible employees but employees have been able to submit applications since early December for claims beginning in 2022. Here’s what we’ve learned so far:
The Employer Has a Say
We heard from small business after small business, concerned that the program would be abused by employees. The concern was valid, especially for a state-run program that we have never experienced before. Employers can rest assured that they have a say in the claim process. Claims filed by employees require an employer statement and attestation of the employee's leave, wages, and any other benefits the employee may be eligible for during their leave.
Computer Challenged Employees Will Need Support
The program requires applicants to upload proof of identity (license, passport, etc). If you have any employees that are computer sensitive, you’ll want to help them upload these documents so that their application is complete.
AFLAC Allegedly Coordinates with Other Paid Benefits
Some employees of our clients have been advised by the Paid Leave Authority that they will coordinate with other benefit providers if the employee is eligible. For example, if you have an employee who is eligible for Paid FMLA as well as Short Term Disability, the Paid Leave Authority will coordinate with the provider of the STD policy to ensure the appropriate benefit levels are being paid. We hope that this actually is the case however employers should be aware that there may be multiple claim forms that employees will need help with in order to receive all the benefits they are entitled to.
The Updates to CT FMLA Have Been Less Publicised
With the development of the Paid Leavee Authority, the state quietly amended the existing Family and Medical Leave Act. The changes which are significant to the small business haven’t been publicized nearly as much as the Paid Leave program. Employers will want to read up on the changes and how they likely apply to their operations.
The bottom line, we’re optimistic. Benefits haven’t even been paid yet however the process seems fairly straightforward and integrated. Fingers crossed that it continues in this direction.