Connecticut Sick Leave Law




Minimum Employees Requirement

Most employers in Connecticut with fifty (50) or more employees are required to provide paid sick leave to their service workers. Conn. Stat. 31-57r(4); Conn. Stat. 31-57s(a) Employers with fifty (50) or more employees that are not required to provide paid sick leave to service workers include:

  • manufacturing employers as classified in sector 31, 32, or 33 in the North American Industrial Classification System; and
  • nationally chartered organizations exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that provide all of the following services: recreation, child care, and education.

Conn. Stat. 31-57r(4)

It is important to note that, although employers are only required to provide paid sick leave to service workers, an employer does not need to have fifty (50) or more service workers to meet the minimum employee requirement. They must have fifty (50) or more employees which may include both service workers and non-service workers.




Determining if an Employer Has Fifty (50) Employees

An employer is deemed to have fifty (50) or more employees if they had (50) or more employees in any one quarter of the previous calendar year. Whether the employer meets this requirement is based on wage information submitted to the Connecticut Labor Commission pursuant to Conn. Stat. 31-225a(j). Conn. Stat. 31-57r(4)



Service Workers

Service workers are those employees that:

Conn. Stat. 31-57r(7)

Day or temporary workers do not fall within the definition of a service worker for purposes of Connecticut’s sick leave law. Conn. Stat. 31-57r(7) Day or temporary workers are employees who perform work on a per diem basis or an occasional or irregular basis for only the time required to complete such work. Conn. Stat. 31-57r(2)



Sick Leave Accrual

Service workers begin to accrue paid sick leave on the date they are hired. They are to accrue one (1) hour of sick leave for every forty (40) hours worked. Annual sick leave accrual is capped at forty (40) total hours. Service workers may carry over up to forty (40) hours of sick leave from one year to the next; however, they are only legally entitled use up to forty (40) hours of sick leave in a year. Conn. Stat. 31-57s(a) An employer may provide sick leave accrual and use benefits that exceed those required by Connecticut’s sick leave law. Conn. Stat. 31-57u(a)

A service workers who stopped working for an employer, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, are considered new employees for purposes of Connecticut’s sick leave law if they are subsequently rehired. They must meet all minimum requirement before using sick leave. Moreover, they are not entitled to any unused hours of paid sick leave they had at the time employment stopped, unless agreed to by the employer. Conn. Stat. 31-57u(c)



Eligibility to Use Sick Leave

Although service works begin accruing sick leave on the day the begin working for an employer, they may only begin using accrued sick leave after they have worked a minimum of six-hundred and eighty (680) hours for the employer. Conn. Stat. 31-57s(b)

Service workers that did not work an average of ten (10) or more hours per week in the most recently completed calendar quarter are not entitled to use accrued sick leave. Conn. Stat. 31-57s(b)



Rate of Pay Required

Employers must pay service workers for sick leave at a rate equal to the greater of either:

  • the service worker’s normal hourly wage; or
  • the state minimum wage rate in effect at the time the sick leave is taken

Conn. Stat. 31-57s(d)

For service workers with a varying hourly wage rate, the normal hourly wage is the average hourly wage for the service worker in the pay period prior to the one in which the service worker takes sick leave. Conn. Stat. 31-57s(d)



Alternative Eligible Leave Policies

An employer is considered to be in compliance with Connecticut’s sick leave law if it offers any other paid leave or combination of paid leave, such as vacation, personal days, or paid time off, that:

  • may be used for the purposes required by Connecticut’s sick leave law; and
  • is accrued at the same or greater rate than that required by Connecticut’s sick leave law.

Conn. Stat. 31-57s(c)



Payment of Accrued Sick Leave upon Separation from Employment

An employer is not required to pay employees for accrued sick leave upon separation from employment unless the employer has a policy or collective bargaining agreement that requires it. Conn. Stat. 31-57t(d)



Permitted Uses

A service worker may use paid sick leave:

  • for his or her own
    • illness, injury, or health conditions;
    • medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or
    • preventative medical care
  • for his or her child’s or spouse’s
    • illness, injury, or health conditions;
    • medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; or
    • preventative medical care
  • when he or she is a victim of family violence or sexual assault
    • for medical care or psychological or other counseling for physical or psychological injury or disability;
    • to obtain services from a victim services organization
    • to relocate; or
    • to participate in any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to the family violence or sexual assault

Conn. Stat. 31-57t(a)

A child includes a biological, adopted, or foster child; stepchild; legal ward of a service worker; or a child of a service worker standing in loco parentis, who is under eighteen (18) years of age or over eighteen (18) years of age but is incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability. Conn. Stat. 31-57r(1)

Family violence is defined in Conn. Stat. 46b-38a. Conn. Stat. 31-57r(5)

Sexual assault is defined a violation of Conn. Stat. 53a-70, 53a-70a, 53a-70b, 53a-71, 53a-72a, 53a-72b, or 53a-73a. Conn. Stat. 31-57r(8)



Service Worker Notice Requirement

An employer may require a service worker to provide advanced notice of his or her intention to use sick leave if the use is foreseeable. The notice requirement may not exceed seven (7) days. If the need for sick leave is unforeseeable, an employer may require a service worker to provide notice of his or her intention to use sick leave as soon as practicable. Conn. Stat. 31-57t(b)



Documentation Requirements

For sick leave lasting three or more consecutive days, an employer may require a service worker to provide reasonable documentation that the leave is taken for reasons permitted by Connecticut’s sick leave law. For leave related to the illness, injury, or health condition of a service worker or his or her child or spouse, documentation signed by a health care provider indicating the need for the number of days of such leave is considered reasonably documentation. For leave related to family violence or sexual assault, documentation signed by a service worker or volunteer working for a victim services organization, an attorney, a police officer, or other counselor shall be considered reasonable documentation. Conn. Stat. 31-57t(b)



Employer Notice Requirement

An employer must provide each service worker at the time he or she is hired notice:

  • of the entitlement to sick leave, the amount of sick leave provided, and the terms under which the sick leave may be used;
  • that retaliation for requesting or using sick leave as provided is prohibited; and
  • that he or she may file a complaint with Connecticut’s Labor Commissioner if the employer fails to provide sick leave as required

Conn. Stat. 31-57w

An employer may meet it notice requirement by displaying a poster in a conspicuous place, accessible to service workers, at the employer’s place of business that contains the information listed above in both English and Spanish.



Sick Leave Donation

An employer may establish a policy that permits service workers to donate accrued sick leave to another service worker. Conn. Stat. 31-57u(b)



Retaliation Prohibited

An employer may not take any retaliatory personnel action or discriminate against an employee for:

  • requesting to use or using paid sick leave in accordance with Connecticut’s sick leave law or in accordance with the employer’s own sick leave policy; or
  • filing a complaint with Connecticut’s Labor Commissioner alleging the employer violated Connecticut’s sick leave law.

Conn. Stat. 31-57v(a)

A retaliatory personnel action is defined as “any termination, suspension, constructive discharge, demotion, unfavorable reassignment, refusal to promote, disciplinary action or other adverse employment action taken by an employer against an employee or a service worker.” Conn. Stat. 31-57r(6)

Employers that are found to have retaliated against an employer for the reasons listed above are liable for a civil penalty of $500 for each violation. Employers that are found to have violated any other provisions Connecticut’s sick leave law are liable for a civil penalty of $100 dollars for each violation. An employer may also be ordered to provide an employee all appropriate relief, including that payment of used paid sick leave, rehiring or reinstatement to the employee’s previous job, payment of back wages, and reestablishment of benefits. Conn. Stat. 31-57v(c)