Governor Lamont Signs Legislation Expanding Connecticut’s Paid Sick Days Laws To Include More Workers

Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he has signed legislation approved by the Connecticut General Assembly this session strengthening the state’s laws regarding paid sick days protections by expanding them to ensure that more workers are covered and have access to them.

Connecticut’s existing paid sick days laws require employers with more than 50 employees that are mostly in specific retail and service occupations (such as food service workers, health care workers, and others) to provide their employees with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave annually.

This legislation signed by Governor Lamont expands this coverage to include more workers in two ways:

  1. Beginning January 1, 2025, these laws will apply to workers of nearly every occupation, not just those in retail and service jobs. (Seasonal employees and other certain temporary workers are exempt.)
  2. The threshold for coverage will be lowered in three phases, beginning with employers that have at least 25 employees on January 1, 2025; those with at least 11 employees beginning January 1, 2026; and those with at least one employee beginning January 1, 2027.

Additionally, the legislation broadens the definition of who qualifies as a family member when a worker wants to use their paid sick days to care for a loved one to also include those other than that person’s own minor children, as limited under the current law. It also expands the reasons why an employee may use paid sick leave to include instances related to the declaration of a public health emergency.

“Our existing paid sick days laws include important protections for certain workers, however there are broad categories left unprotected, and this update will expand this coverage to help ensure that people do not have to choose between going to work sick and sacrificing a day’s wage,” Governor Lamont said. “Given what we just experienced during the recent outbreak of a viral pandemic, it’s appropriate that we take a look at our paid sick days laws and evaluate how they are working and how they can be strengthened. I applaud the General Assembly for sending this bill to my desk so that I could sign it into law, and in particular I want to recognize the advocacy of Senate President Looney, Senator Kushner, and Representative Sanchez.”

“Our state has been proud to lead the way with one of the most comprehensive paid leave programs in the country that’s creating a working environment where everyone can succeed,” Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said. “But before our paid medical family leave program, in 2011, Connecticut became the first state in the nation to require certain employers to provide employees with 40 hours of paid sick time per year – but since that time, we’ve fallen behind. By updating these statutes, we are allowing more workers the opportunity to care for themselves or a family member without the fear that it’ll negatively impact their career. This is legislation that truly supports our workers, their families, and their communities.”

“The private-sector workplace is rapidly evolving, with salaries and benefits becoming more and more competitive as unemployment rates drop and our economy continues to expand,” Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney said (D-New Haven). “The expansion of paid sick days to more workers makes sense, both from an economic and a societal standpoint. For low and moderate-income people, the loss of even a couple of day’s pay is a real hardship; it could mean the difference between having the rent that month or not. Connecticut’s pro-employee policies are also bringing more young workers into the state, and keeping them here, for the quality of life they can experience. That’s also a boon to employers to have a broader pool of prospective employees and a happier, healthier, more productive workforce.”

“One of the true highlights of the 2024 legislative session was the expansion of paid sick days. This was my top priority,” State Senator Julie Kushner (D-Danbury), co-chair of the Labor and Public Employees Committee, said. “More than a decade ago, Connecticut was a national leader in requiring certain service sectors to provide paid sick days to their employees – but only a fraction of Connecticut's workforce was covered. Since 2011, we’ve stood still while other cities and states have exceeded what we started. In the daily race to attract new residents and new jobs, standing still is not an option. With the signing of this bill, every worker in Connecticut is on their way to earning paid sick days. I want to thank the governor and my fellow Democrats in the General Assembly for recognizing the value of human labor in our economy, and for recognizing the needs of employees and their families to stay well in the never-ending demands of business for more productivity and more profits. There has been a new-found respect for working people since the pandemic, and offering paid sick days to everyone by 2027 is one way we can show our appreciation and grow our workforce.”

“Workers should never have to choose between their health and their jobs,” State Representative Manny Sanchez (D-New Britain), co-chair of the Labor and Public Employees Committee, said. “This legislation marks a significant advancement toward healthier workplaces, increased productivity, and better employee retention. I am grateful to Governor Lamont for signing this life changing initiative.”

The legislation is Public Act 24-8, An Act Expanding Paid Sick Days in the State.