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DOL Releases Guidance and Poster for New Paid Sick Leave Law

The Connecticut Department of Labor (“DOL”) has released guidance concerning Public Act 11-52, the new paid sick leave law.  The DOL also released a poster that complies with the law’s notice requirement.

Both the guidance document and the poster are available on the DOL’s website

The Spanish version of the poster is forthcoming.

We provided a detailed review of the sick leave law in a post last month.

Though the guidance document does not appear to contain any major revelations, it does provide clarification of certain points and is in a format that is easier for employers to navigate that the Public Act.

Some points of note: 

  • In determining whether an individual performs work on a “per diem” basis, the DOL will look at how businesses have traditionally defined per diem employees.  The DOL recognizes that an individual may be exempt even where his/her assignment is for a term longer than one day where the employment has the characteristics of a traditional per diem relationship.
  • Compensation for use of paid sick leave at the worker’s “normal hourly wage” does not include overtime or commissions.
  • The requirement to work 680 hours prior to becoming eligible to use accrued time is a one-time requirement.  Once the service worker meets the hours, he/she never has to meet it again for the same employer.
  • For the purpose of the requirement that leave accrues at the rate of one (1) hour for every 40 hours worked, only time actually worked counts, i.e. vacation and other forms of paid time does off does not count towards the 40 hours worked.
  • The ability of an employer to require reasonable documentation verifying the purpose of leave where leave is for three (3) or more consecutive days includes partial days.  Thus, if a worker uses only a partial day of leave on three (3) consecutive work days (not calendar days), the employer may request reasonable documentation.
  • A collective bargaining agreement in effect prior to January 1, 2012, including those that provide for less paid sick leave than required under the new law, shall remain in effect until it expires or is renegotiated.  Once expired or renegotiated after January 1, 2012, the new CBA must comply with the provisions of the law.

Employers subject to the new law are well advised to review the DOL’s guidance document and to stay tuned as further guidance will likely continue to be provided as questions continue to arise.