Connecticut Leave Laws

March 26th 2024

Taking leave is important for the well-being of employees, and the US therefore has federal and state laws in place outlining leave requirements for both employers and employees.

This article explores the leave laws in Connecticut, looking into the different types of leave available to employees.

Connecticut has two types of leave: required and optional, each encompassing specific guidelines and requirements. These may vary according to whether the employee is working in the public or private sector.

This Article Covers

Connecticut Required Leave
Connecticut Non-Required Leave

Connecticut Required Leave

There are several categories of leave in Connecticut to which employees are entitled. The categories of mandated leave in Connecticut include:

1. Sick Leave

  • Eligibility: The federal and Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Acts (federal FMLA  and Connecticut FMLA ) govern sick leave in Connecticut, and ensure that eligible employees can return to their same job after having taken leave. Under the FMLA, employees are eligible if they have been employed by the company for at least 12 months and if they have worked at least 1,250 hours. Under the Connecticut (CT) FMLA, employees must have worked for the company for at least 3 months (with no specific requirement regarding hours worked). Federal FMLA applies to employers with 50 or more employees and government agencies of any size. CT FMLA applies to almost all employers who have one or more people working in CT, and all state employees.
  • Duration: Up to 12 weeks in a 12-month period, with the possibility of 2 more weeks of leave for incapacity due to pregnancy.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: Leave can be taken for qualifying life events including a serious health condition, taking care of a close family member with a serious health condition or who was injured in active duty, taking care of a newborn or adopted child, or as a result of domestic violence.
  • Pay: Employees can also apply for CT Paid Leave to receive income benefits. An employee becomes eligible for Paid Leave if they have earned at least $2,325 in the highest-earning quarter of the first four of the five most recently completed quarters (the “base period”).

2. Jury Duty Leave

  • Eligibility: All employees who have been summoned for jury duty. It is illegal for employers to punish employees for taking this leave.
  • Duration: If an employee participates in jury duty for 8 hours or more, the employer cannot force them to work that day.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: When summoned by the court to fulfill jury duties.
  • Pay: Employers must provide compensation at the regular pay rate for the first 5 days of jury duty.

3. Voting Time Leave

  • Eligibility: All employees who want to vote in elections are entitled to unpaid leave. This time off must be requested at least two days before the election day.
  • Duration: 2 hours of leave is permitted.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To go and vote in state or federal elections.

4. Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Leave

  • Eligibility: Employees who are victims of family violence are now entitled to leave under the FMLA and CT FMLA. The CT Family Violence Leave Act requires employers to grant leave to employees for family violence. Employees are also entitled to apply to receive income replacement benefits through CT Paid Leave. 
  • Duration: Up to 12 days off in a calendar year.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: Can be taken for needs arising from domestic violence or sexual assault, such as to seek medical care for both physical and mental health, to seek help from a victim services organization, to relocate due to family violence, or to participate in any civil or criminal proceedings.

5. Emergency Response Leave

  • Eligibility: Employers are required to provide leave to employees who serve as emergency responders, such as volunteer firefighters and ambulance drivers. To confirm eligibility, a letter from the supervisor or a related institution must be provided.
  • Duration: The duration of the emergency.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To fulfill your role as an emergency responder during an emergency event.

6. Organ and Bone Donation Leave

  • Eligibility: Any employee donating an organ or bone marrow must be provided paid leave, according to CT FMLA and CT Paid Leave program.
  • Duration: Up to 12 weeks.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: The donation of an organ or bone marrow. 

7. Military Leave

  • Eligibility: All employers must provide paid leave to employees who are members of the state armed forces and are called to duty. In addition, under the Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act (CT FMLA), employees that need to care for a family member injured while on duty, must be permitted time off.
  • Duration: For the duration of military duty. Caregivers are entitled to 26 weeks off to care for a family member injured on duty. 
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: For members of the state armed forces who are called up for military duty, or for those needing to care for a family member who was injured during their military service.
  • Pay: Employees who are members of the state armed forces must be given their salary, benefits, and any promotion that they would have received had they remained at work. For caring duties, up to 12 weeks can qualify for paid leave, through CT Paid Leave.

Connecticut Non-Required Leave

In Connecticut, there are specific types of leave which employers are not obligated to provide, unless explicitly stated in the employment contract or company policies. The following leave options are not legally mandated:

1. Bereavement Leave

Connecticut employers are not obligated to provide bereavement leave to their staff, but can choose to offer this through individual company policies.

2. Vacation Leave

Connecticut employers are not mandated to provide vacation leave to their employees, but they have the option to do so. Employers can include the terms and conditions for vacation leave in the employment contract or in company policies.

3. Holiday Leave

Connecticut employers aren’t obligated to provide paid or unpaid time off during holidays or any related festivities.

The official federal holidays observed in the US can be found in the table below:

Holiday Date
New Year’s Day 1 January
Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Day Third Monday in January
Washington’s Birthday Third Monday in February
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Independence Day 4 July
Labor Day First Monday in September
Columbus Day Second Monday in October
Election Day Every other year
Veterans Day 11 November
Thanksgiving Day Fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Day 25 December

If you want to know more about the entitlements of employees in Connecticut, you can read our guides on Your rights as a salaried employee in Connecticut, and Your rights as an hourly employee in Connecticut. You can also learn more about Connecticut Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

Important Cautionary Note

When making this guide we have tried to make it accurate, but we do not give any guarantee that the information provided is correct or up to date. We therefore strongly advise you seek advice from qualified professionals before acting on any information provided in this guide. We do not accept any liability for any damages or risks incurred for use of this guide.