CT Paid Family & Medical Leave Q&A

Stay Up-To-Date with the Latest CT PFML Frequently Asked Questions

2021 will be here before we know it, forcing employers to make multiple decisions in the new few months. Reference this Q&A page for ongoing updates to frequently asked questions as well as best practices for navigating through these next few months.

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  • NEW! What is the employers responsibility when an employee is applying for CT PFML?
    When an employee notifies you of their intent to take leave, alert them that they may be eligible for CT Paid Leave income replacement benefits and direct them to ctpaidleave.org for more information. During this process, the employee will be sending you an Employment Verification Form which is part of your responsibility to fill out and return to Aflac within 10 days. Lastly, it's your responsibility to track leave according to your company's internal attendance and leave policies.
  • NEW! What is the employees responsibility when applying for CT PFML?
    The employee must first notify the employer/HR of the need for the leave. They then will need to apply for the benefit through the CT Paid Leave website - they'll create an account there and then be redirected to the CT Paid Leave Aflac portal to begin their claim. During this process, they'll be presented an Employment Verification Form that will need to be given to their Employer/HR to complete within 10 days. It's important the employee provides all the other information and forms requested by Aflac within the time frame outlined to keep on track. Lastly, they must inform the Authority/Aflac of any changes that would impact the leave (e.g. early return to work, receipt of employer provided benefits that were not previously given, etc.)
  • If an employee works for more than one employer, do the employers need to coordinate to decide who deducts the contributions?
    Each employer is required to remit the contributions owed by each of its employees based on the wages earned from that employer. The CT Paid Leave Authority aggregates all of an individual's wages to determine if he/she meets the eligibility requirements.
  • How do we know if we've been registered with the state?
    Registration was due to begin November 1, 2020. There are a couple of things you can do to check: (1) Go to the Paid Leave Authority website. In the employer screen click on go to my account and select forgot password or username and verify that way. (2) Go to the Paid Leave Authority website. Go to the Contact us section and submit a question to support. In the Contact Reason field they can select Help with Registration.
  • Do we have to notify the employee within a certain timeframe?
    Starting in July 2022, every employer is required to provide its employees with written notice describing job-protected leave provided under the Connecticut Family & Medical Leave Act; the opportunity to apply for income-replacement benefits from the CT Paid Leave Authority; the retaliation protections provided by the CT Family & Medical Leave Act; and the employee's right to file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner. Although there is no legal requirement to provide any notices or post posters at this time, the CT Paid Leave Authority encourages employers to share the CT Paid Leave employee factsheet found at www.ctpaidleave.org with their employees. The employee factsheet may be downloaded from the bottom of the “For Employees” page on the website.
  • Will employers receive alerts if an employee is on CT PFML? 
    Employers will be notified by the Authority when/if an employee applies for/is granted CT Paid Leave via email.
  • As an employer, how do we track the CT PFML vs FMLA?
    There are insurance carriers and TPA's that offer tracking and administrative services to assist in coordinating these leaves.
  • Would these deductions be automatic via our payroll service?
    Yes, the contributions would be set up as payroll deductions; however, an employer can choose to pay some or all of the employee contributions if they choose so it will be up to the specific employer and how they want to proceed there. Payroll companies are now working in partnership with the CT Paid Leave Authority to define the process by which deductions and payments will be remitted.
  • What happens if the fund runs out of money?
    Solvency will be very carefully managed through the State Treasurer. An updated actuarial study has been commissioned to assess factors that may affect contributions and claims, particularly in the midst of COVID-19. The CT Paid Family and Medical Leave Act allows the CT Paid Leave Authority to adjust benefits payments to assure fund solvency.
  • What happens to the money taken out if an employee never uses CT PFML?
    Eligible employees will have to participate in the coverage (and pay for it as required) whether they actually use the benefits or not - just like other insurance type coverages. They will not receive refunds of contributions if they don't use the benefits.
  • Do deductions start for all employees as of 1/1/21, or after 3 months of employment?
    Payroll deductions would be for all CT employees beginning January 1, 2021. The employer withholds ½ of 1% of the employee’s total wages until the employee earns above the Social Security Wage Base. The 3 month period will be a determinant of eligibility for the paid leave benefit.
  • How will employers be made aware of the value an employee is getting from Paid Family Leave?
    The benefits approval and coordination process will include steps to ascertain how much the employee is receiving from any other sources, including any employer-funded benefits. If employees receive no employer-funded benefit (STD, LTD), and they otherwise qualify for leave benefits, they would be paid by the Paid Leave Authority according to the formula in the statute, up to 95% of their weekly wages. If the employee receives some benefit from an employer-funded benefit, the Paid Leave Authority would use those payments to determine whether the employee is entitled to any additional paid benefit from the Authority. Unlike unemployment insurance, employers will not receive a report from the Authority stating benefits paid, as it is a fully employee-funded trust fund and benefit.
  • NEW! What safeguards are in place to keep the program solvent, to prevent abuse and fraud, and to ensure Connecticut workers have access to paid leave benefits?
    The CT Paid Leave Authority has established protocols to ensure compliance and to protect against fraud or abuse of the program. The funds will be held in a trust fund managed by the Office of the State Treasurer, who will ensure the program’s solvency. All benefit claims will be reviewed closely to ensure the program is accessible to those who need it, and will work with employers to verify eligibility. Additionally, the CT Paid Leave Authority will work with the Department of Labor to establish program controls to ensure compliance and enforcement.

Private Plan Option

  • Will employers have the option to take out a private plan?
    Yes. An employer may apply to the Authority for approval to use a private plan to meet its obligations under the CT PFML act. A private plan must offer the same benefits as the state plan, may not cost any more than the state plan, and must administer benefits to employees to ensure the benefits are as accessible as they would be under the state plan. The private plan may be in the form of an insurance policy that has been approved by the Insurance Commissioner or a self-insured plan. A private plan must first receive employee approval through a majority vote of the employees.
  • Should employers be applying for an exemption now, when the tax starts, or should they apply next fall before the benefits become effective 1/1/22?
    Employers may apply for an exemption prior to 1/1/21. The Authority will accept private plan applications on a rolling basis.  Employers that receive approvals for a private plan from the CT Paid Leave Authority are exempted from remitting employee contributions to the Trust Fund.
  • Does having a private plan eliminate the employee having to pay out of their check?
    If a private plan is approved by the Authority, employees will not have deductions but may contribute an equal amount to the employer’s private plan.
  • What is the process to apply for the exemption for the private plan? Is there an application?
    The Authority is the controlling agency on the private plan application process, and the most current information regarding the application procedures are provided in the Authority’s Private Plan Policy and Procedures document.
  • Is the majority vote all employees - or only employees in CT?
    The requirement for the employee vote must include all employees working in CT on the employer’s payroll as of the date or time period of the vote. “A majority vote of the employer’s employees” means that at least 50% + 1 of the total number of employees working in CT for the employer voted in favor of the private plan. The regulations clarify that it does not mean at least 50% + 1 of the number of employees who participated in the vote.
  • What is the employee vote requirement?
    The employee vote is a required element of the private plan approval procedures. A private plan must receive employee approval through a majority employee vote.  The Voting Requirements are described by the Authority’s Private Plan Policy and Procedures document.
  • NEW! How can my business offer a private plan that complies with the new CT Paid Leave Law?

    While the CT Paid Leave program applies to all employers with one or more employees, employers may apply for an exemption if they intend to offer the same benefits through a private plan. In order to qualify, the private plan must offer all employees all of the same rights, protections, and benefits as the CT Paid Leave program. You can learn more about private plans here. To apply for a private plan, employers must first register with the CT Paid Leave Authority. During registration, you will be given the opportunity to declare your intent to offer a private plan and will be prompted to begin the application process.

    In order to be approved, a private plan must:
    • Offer at least the same number of weeks of benefits and at least the same level of wage replacement for each week of benefits.
    • Deduct the same amount from employees’ paychecks as the state plan.
    • Cover all employees, current and future, through the duration of their employment.
    • Be approved by a majority of your employees (50%+1) through a private vote.
    • Include no additional requirements or conditions.
    • Remain compliant with any additional requirements established by the CT Paid Leave Authority.


Interaction with Other Leaves & Benefits

COVID-19 & Leave of Absence

  • Is paid leave coverage different from COVID-19 leave?
    Yes, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) is a different law from the Connecticut Paid Leave (CT PFML) program. Like the FFCRA, however, the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA) provides paid leave benefits to employees who cannot work due to their own serious health condition or the serious health condition of a family member. The CT PFML does not apply to situations when an employee cannot work due to school or daycare closures.
  • Does CT PFML cover employees out of work who have tested positive for COVID-19?
    Potentially. It depends on how serious the infection is. If an employee ends up being hospitalized due to COVID-19,then it may be considered a "Serious Health Condition" under the CT PFML act and the employee may be eligible for the benefit. More than likely, it would be a no in your everyday scenario.

Education & Communication

The information on this site is intended to provide guidance only and is not intended as legal advice. All reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein. OneDigital shall not be liable for reliance by any individual or organization upon the contents of this site. This Employer Q&A is made available by OneDigital for educational purposes only. Please consult with your local advisory team member for advice specific to your situation.