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April 13, 2021

CT Paid Leave Authority enrolls 87,000 businesses

HBJ Photo | Steve Laschever Andrea Barton Reeves, CEO of the Connecticut Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Authority.

The state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Authority has so far enrolled 87,000 employers, including the state of Connecticut, CEO Andrea Barton Reeves announced Tuesday.

During a virtual press conference, Reeves said the authority has ramped up outreach efforts, including holding dozens of webinars, to get the word out about the program, which is funded through employee payroll deductions. That work resulted in a surge in enrollments since January, when only about 40,000 businesses in the state were onboard, she said.

Among the new enrollees is the state of Connecticut, which missed the initial deadline earlier this year.

The deadline for employers to sign up for the program was initially Feb. 1, but was later moved to March 1.

“We’re a large employer and we have lots of employment rules,” State Comptroller Kevin Lembo said. “We were committed to getting it right and I think we have.”

The first paid leave payments will come out of state employees’ paychecks on April 23, according to Lembo, and there will be a “catch-up charge” in place until June 4.

Reeves said there are believed to be about 108,000 active employers in the state, but that number may actually be lower due to the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Her team will continue to reach out to employers who may still be unaware of the program, she added.

Reeves also noted that the law creating the paid leave program gives the authority the power to penalize noncompliant businesses, but said that is not the authority’s main focus right now.

Separately, the Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Authority is requesting $5.25 million in bond funding from the state for continued development of its employee contribution platform.

Reeves said Monday the money was part of the authority’s long-term planning and was not an unexpected new expense.


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