About 60% of Connecticut’s businesses registered for the state’s new paid family leave program by Monday’s deadline, state officials said.
That leaves about 44,000 businesses that still haven’t registered to provide paid leave benefits to employees who can’t work for family or medical reasons.
Connecticut Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz said the program is important to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
“We needed paid family medical leave long before this public health emergency, but COVID has really underscored the critical need for this program so that our workers can take time off to care for a loved one, a family member or themselves,” Bysiewicz said.
Andrea Barton Reeves is the head of the state’s paid leave authority. She said the deadline was originally set for February 1, but was extended by a month to give businesses more time to register.
“We heard very clearly from our small businesses that they just really needed more time. We’re not here to penalize businesses; we’re trying to have as much of a cooperative relationship as we can,” Reeves said.
Reeves said if businesses don’t withhold employee wages for the program, the state Department of Labor could seek money from them to cover the difference.
Connecticut is one of only a handful of states — including New York — that offer paid family leave.