STATEMENT: Connecticut Becomes 7th State to Enact Comprehensive Paid Family Leave, 2nd State to Include All Families
Washington, D.C. — Today, Gov. Ned Lamont (D-CT) signed S.B. 1, an act to establish a comprehensive paid family and medical leave program in Connecticut. The new law provides workers with up to 12 weeks paid leave—with a progressive wage replacement—for the birth or adoption of a new child or to tend to personal or family medical needs. The law also ensures that all workers in the state are protected from employer retaliation for taking leave. Finally, this makes Connecticut the second state in the country to expand the definition of family to include chosen family—people whose relationships are equivalent to family, even if they are not related by blood or legal ties.
Shilpa Phadke, vice president of the Women’s Initiative at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement upon S.B. 1 being signed into law:
Connecticut’s comprehensive paid family and medical leave law is a significant victory for working families. This law ensures that every worker in the state—not just those working in predominantly white-collar jobs—will be able to recover from an illness, care for a family member, or welcome a new child without fear of losing their job or sacrificing their financial security.
The state’s inclusive definition of family builds on the first-of-its-kind inclusive leave law in New Jersey signed into law earlier this year, which ensures workers from all walks of life are treated with the respect they deserve and are able to access the leave they need. The provision is especially important for LGBT workers and workers with disabilities, who disproportionately need leave to care for chosen family.
Gov. Lamont, steadfast state lawmakers, and the work of organizations across the state such as the Campaign for Paid Leave, led by the Connecticut Women’s Legal and Education Fund and CT Working Families, made paid leave a reality in Connecticut. Unfortunately, nationwide, while nearly two-thirds of mothers are their family’s primary breadwinner or co-breadwinner, only 16 percent of private sector workers have paid family leave through their employers. This means millions of workers must still make the impossible choice between taking care of their families or themselves and losing a paycheck. It’s critical that Congress build on Connecticut’s progress by passing the FAMILY Act and guaranteeing all Americans—regardless of the state or zip code in which they live—the security of paid family and medical leave.
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