This post will run through the employee leave laws for businesses and workers located in the state of Connecticut.
Follow this guide to understand employers’ obligations for vacation time, paid time off (PTO), sick leave, parental leave, bereavement and more, along with state holidays observed in Connecticut.
This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.
No federal or state laws in the USA require employers to provide paid or unpaid vacation time.
If an employer chooses to offer paid vacation time, and this is written into employees’ contracts or official company policies, the company is legally obliged to follow what is stated in the contract.
The law in Connecticut does not make specific mention of Use It or Lose It policies, so this practice is legal to implement.
If a company has a Use It or Lose It vacation policy, they should clearly state this in employment contracts and company policies, as any ambiguities are generally ruled in favor of the employee.
Use It or Lose It leave policies mean that any leave not used at the end of the year is forfeited, and not carried over to the following year. Learn more about Use It or Lose It policies here.
There is no legal requirement for PTO (including vacation and sick leave) to be paid out upon separation (e.g. when an employee quits, is fired or is laid off).
Like above, though, companies should make it clear in official documents what will happen to unused PTO, and abide by these policies.
Most companies in Connecticut with 50 or more employees are required to provide paid sick leave to service workers.
These workers earn one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked, up to a total of 40 hours. Up to 40 hours can be carried over from one year to the next.
Connecticut also has their own version of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which provides up to 12 weeks of paid leave in a 12-month period for situations including:
This leave is paid for by the state.
Besides any state laws or provisions written into employment contracts, employers in Connecticut must comply with the FMLA, which entitles eligible employees the right to take 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for serious health conditions, or to care for spouses, children or parents with a serious health condition.
These are the state holidays observed in Connecticut:
|January 1||New Year’s Day|
|3rd Monday in January||Martin Luther King, Jr. Day|
|February 12||Lincoln’s Birthday|
|3rd Monday in February||Washington’s Birthday|
|2 days before Easter||Good Friday|
|Last Monday in May||Memorial Day|
|June 19||Juneteenth Day|
|July 4||Independence Day|
|1st Monday in September||Labor Day|
|2nd Monday in October||Columbus Day|
|November 11||Veterans Day *|
|4th Thursday in November||Thanksgiving|
|December 25||Christmas Day|
Employers in Connecticut are not required to provide paid or unpaid leave for state holidays, and can require employees to work on state holidays without providing any additional benefits, such as a compensatory day off or extra pay.
The Connecticut Family Medical Leave Act (CFMLA), which applies to companies with 75 or more employees, allows employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 16 weeks over a 24-month period for the birth of a new child.
Employees can also claim up to 12 weeks’ paid leave under the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA), the same program that provide state-sponsored paid sick leave as mentioned above.
Fathers have the same right to leave as mothers under the CFMLA and PFMLA, allowing them time off to care for their new child (birthed, adopted or fostered), along with the right to apply to the state for 12 weeks of paid leave.
There is no legal requirement in Connecticut to provide employees with bereavement leave, paid or unpaid.
Full-time employees are entitled under Connecticut law to be paid their regular wages for up to the first five days of jury service. Employers can apply to be excused from this requirement if they meet the requirements for financial hardship. If this is granted, the state will compensate the employee, up to $50 a day for the first five days of jury service.
In addition, employers must not discharge or penalize an employee in any way for serving jury duty.
There is no law in Connecticut regarding voting leave, requiring employers to grant time off (paid or unpaid) to allow employees to vote.
Employees can take up to 12 days off per calendar year if they have been the victim of family violence, for the purpose of to getting medical or psychological treatment, meeting with a victim services organization, attending court proceedings related to the violence and to relocate.
Federal Law (the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)) applies in Connecticut, which states that military service members receive up to five years of unpaid leave for military service, and upon returning, must be reinstated to the same position (or an equivalent position) as they had before their leave.
Anything not covered in Connecticut state leave laws is up to the discretion of the employer, such as whether or not to provide paid sick leave or PTO, or whether PTO rolls over from year to year.
However, if any benefits are laid out in an employee’s contract or company policy, employers must comply with what has been agreed in that document.
For example, if an employee’s contract states that they are to receive 12 days of PTO each year, the employer is legally required to provide this, even though paid time off is not required by state law.