Connecticut’s Sexual Harassment Training Deadline Extended to April 19, 2021

The CHRO has announced a third extension of the deadline to provide sexual harassment training for all employees, including supervisors and non-supervisors.  In November 2020, the CHRO had announced that the deadline would be extended for a second time until February 9, 2021.  Now, the training deadline has been similarly extended to April 19, 2021 pursuant to the same extension of the declaration of public emergency and recently issued Executive Order 10A.

President Biden Nominates Jennifer Abruzzo As The NLRB’s Next General Counsel

President Biden nominated Jennifer Abruzzo to serve as General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”).  By way of background, the NLRB’s General Counsel is the agency’s chief attorney and decides which cases it will bring and issues guidance memorandums on important labor issues.  Attorney Abruzzo previously spent 23 years at the NLRB and was briefly acting General Counsel before previous NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb, who President Biden terminated on January 22.  Most recently, Attorney Abruzzo served as special counsel to the Communications Workers of America.  We expect that Attorney Abruzzo will help establish President Biden’s pro-employee agenda at the NLRB.

We are continuing to monitor developments at the CHRO and the NLRB and will keep you updated.

Partial Plan Termination Relief

Many employers may be facing what the IRS guidance refers to as a partial plan termination. Generally, this occurs when the number of employees participating in a qualified retirement plan, such as a 401(k) plan, decreases by 20% or more during the Plan Year. This is calculated by dividing all employer initiated severances by the number of active participants, including employees who became participants during the year.

If there is a partial plan termination, any participant who left during the Plan Year, both voluntarily and involuntarily, whose account was not fully vested must be vested.

The stimulus bill provides relief from a partial termination for any Plan Year that includes the period beginning on  March 13, 2020 and ending on March 31, 2021 if the number of active Participants covered by the Plan on March 31, 2021 is 80% of the number of active Participants on March 13, 2020. An employer may be able to avoid a partial plan termination by rehiring employees by March 31, 2021.

Qualified Disaster Relief Available for Retirement Plans

For disasters other than COVID-19 disasters, which are declared to be a disaster by the President between January 1, 2020 and February 25, 2021, enhanced distribution and loan provisions are available. For distributions made prior to June 25, 2021, amounts up to $100,000 may be withdrawn and are not subject to the 10% early distribution tax. The distribution can be taxed over three years and there is a right to repay the distribution over three years.

There are expanded loan limits available as well as a 1 year delay for repayments for qualified individuals.

This is an optional provision and if adopted, plan amendments must be made by the end of the 2022 Plan Year.

Deductibility of Retirement Plan Contributions for PPP Loan Recipients

Expenses paid with forgiven PPP loans are now deductible due to a provision in the stimulus bill. The IRS had taken the position that no deduction is allowed for an expense that is otherwise deductible if the payment of the expense results in forgiveness of a PPP loan. Under this IRS position, payroll costs incurred during the covered period, which include retirement plan contributions, were not deductible. The Stimulus bill reverses this position for tax years ending after March 27, 2020.

Earlier this month, a Massachusetts federal court dismissed discrimination and retaliation claims against Whole Foods Market and its parent company Amazon alleging that Whole Foods workers faced discipline and retaliation, including docked pay, cut hours, and even termination, for wearing face masks and other paraphernalia bearing the slogan “Black Lives Matter” at work.  Whole Foods responded that the “Black Lives Matter” masks violated the Whole Foods employee dress code, but workers claimed that those violating the dress code to show support for the National Rifle Association or social causes like LGBTQ+ rights did not face similar discipline.

While recognizing that it would have been “more honorable” for Whole Foods and Amazon to “enforce their policies consistently and without regard for the messaging, particularly where the messaging selected for discipline conveys a basic truth,” the court nonetheless held that the workers’ claims should be dismissed because Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 “does not protect one’s right to associate with a given social cause, even a race-related one, in the workplace.”

Instead, the Court explained that the workplace civil rights law prohibits discrimination based upon an employee’s protected characteristic. The Whole Foods workers’ claims fell short because “no plaintiff alleges that he or she was discriminated against on account of his or her race or that he or she was discriminated against for advocating on behalf of a co-worker who had been subject to discrimination.”

The Massachusetts court ultimately described the workers’ claims as a First Amendment free speech case framed as civil rights case because Massachusetts does not extend First Amendment protections to the private workplace. This may not be the case in Connecticut.  Connecticut General Statute 31-51q prohibits any employer, public or private, from discharging or disciplining an employee on account of the exercise by the employee of rights guaranteed by the First Amendment and by similar provisions of the state constitution.  Accordingly, while employees may not have a federal right to associate with a particular social cause at work, employers in Connecticut must carefully consider whether any anticipated discipline based on the expression of political or social activism in the workplace may run afoul of Connecticut’s enhanced workplace speech protections.

If you have any questions about employee speech or social activism in the workplace, please contact a member of Carmody’s Labor & Employment Team.

HR administrators, employers, employees, and even independent consultants are all well-advised to remember the approaching March 15th deadline for the distribution of annual bonuses and many other forms of compensation that were earned in 2020.

Ever-lurking tax traps wreaked on businesses and individuals by Section 409A of the Tax Code makes each year’s due date to meet 409A’s “short-term deferral” exemption a critical one.  For calendar year employers and employees, this deadline is March 15. (Carmody note: employers with a different tax year may have additional time, but not less.)

To be clear, there is not a blanket requirement that all compensation earned in a prior year must be paid by March 15th (or a later end date of an employer’s short-term deferral window, in the case of a non-calendar year employer).  But in order to exempt deferred compensation from Section 409A using the short-term deferral exemption, the prior year’s earned compensation must be paid by this date.  Other exceptions may separately exempt certain deferred compensation from Section 409A, such as severance pay resulting from an involuntary termination, or qualifying equity compensation.

In addition, losing exemption from Section 409A does not mean that the law will automatically come after taxpayers in the manner famously referenced by Shakespeare.  However, 409A imposes strict limits on the time and form of payment of deferred compensation, including general prohibitions on the acceleration and subsequent deferrals of compensation.  In other words, if a deferred compensation arrangement does not qualify for an exemption from 409A, it has little room to maneuver.

Violations of Section 409A are harsh, particularly on employees.  If a covered arrangement fails to comply, an employee or other service provider is treated as having received income the first tax year that the deferred compensation was no longer subject to a “substantial risk of forfeiture” (generally, when the compensation vests), regardless of whether payment has been made.  In addition, a 20% excise tax is imposed on the employee, plus stepped-up interest for late tax payments, which may go back for several years.  Employer withholding and reporting requirements are also triggered.  In other words, not the ideal outcome for a deferred compensation program.

If you are an employer or individual with compensation that was earned in 2020 and due to be paid or received in 2021, remember to beware the Ides of March 15th, and plan ahead with legal counsel when necessary.

We have been getting questions about the extent to which employers may encourage their employees to obtain COVID-19 vaccines when they become eligible.  There are a couple of thorny legal issues that may arise when employers offer incentives in connection with a voluntary employer-sponsored COVID-19 vaccination program.  We are aware that several large employers are currently offering incentives for employees to get vaccinated.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) strictly limits medical examinations and disability-related inquiries made to employees in connection with wellness programs, which may (and under recently proposed EEOC rules, would) include a vaccination program.  Wellness programs with incentives that include medical exams or involve questions that are likely to elicit information about disability generally must be voluntary.

But since a 2017 court decision, there has been uncertainty surrounding when a wellness program offering employee incentives will shift from “voluntary” to. . .  well . . . not voluntary, based on the value of the incentive involved.

Under the previous administration, the EEOC proposed to limit incentives for certain wellness programs to “de minimis” incentives, such as a water bottle or a modest gift card. The Biden administration has frozen regulations which have not yet taken effect, so the status of those regulations is uncertain.

So where does that leave employers who may wish to offer a voluntary vaccination program or an incentive for employees to get vaccinated? Is an incentive to get vaccinated covered by the wellness regulations? If it is covered, how much of an incentive may an employer offer to encourage vaccination without the program becoming mandatory and therefore subject to the ADA limits?  For example, is granting a PTO day more than a de minimis incentive?

To avoid this uncertainty, an employer may decide not to sponsor a COVID-19 vaccine program and instead simply offer an incentive to employees who submit proof of vaccination from an unrelated party (i.e., obtain a vaccine on their own accord).  In this case, the employer would not be considered to have sponsored a wellness program subject to the ADA.   Nonetheless, other federal and state nondiscrimination laws may be implicated by excessively large incentives.

A number of employer groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have signed onto a letter to the EEOC asking for immediate guidance on the level of incentive an employer may offer to encourage employee vaccinations, and other related guidance.

We are closely monitoring developments and will update you as soon as further guidance is offered. In the meantime, if you are considering incentives for employee vaccination, we can assist with navigating these issues.

Contained within the recent Stimulus Bill is the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020. Section 214 of that Act provides flexibility for Health Flexible Spending Accounts (Health FSA) and Dependent Care Accounts (DCA).

Background

HFSAs and DCAs have certain limitations and restrictions known as the ‘use or lose’ rule, which generally provide that amounts not used by the end of the year are forfeited. Prior to the temporary changes described below, these accounts were permitted to have a 2 ½ month grace period during which the participant could be reimbursed for expenses incurred during the grace period with unused amounts from the prior year.

Health Flexible Spending Accounts, in lieu of a grace period, have been allowed to have a ‘carryover’ of a limited amount to be used for expenses incurred at any time after the end of the plan year. For 2021 this limit is $550.

Temporary Changes

Under the new legislation, the grace period is significantly extended to 12 months for both the 2020 and 2021 Plan Years. The “carryover” provisions are extended to Dependent Care Accounts and now allow for both Dependent Care Accounts and Health Flexible Spending Accounts to allow all unused funds in the 2020 and 2021 plan years to be carried over into the next plan year.

In addition, for plan years ending in 2021, participants may prospectively change their elections regardless of whether they have had a ‘change in status’ event.

Health Flexible Spending Accounts may now allow terminated participants to use their accounts for permitted expenses, even after a termination of employment, as is currently permitted for Dependent Care Accounts.

Finally, under certain circumstances, Dependent Care Accounts are allowed to cover dependents up to age 14 (an increase from age 13) for a plan year which had an open enrollment period that ended on or before January 31, 2020. Also,  if there were unused amounts in that plan year, coverage is permitted during the following plan year until the dependent’s 14th birthday.

Amendments

Although all the changes above are optional, they may be adopted immediately. If any of them are adopted, plan amendments are required by the end of the calendar following the year when they are effective. Thus, a change put into effect for a 2020 Plan year will need to be in an amendment adopted by December 31, 2021.

We are happy to assist with any of the above.

For questions, please reach out to Timothy S. Klimpl or Mark F. Williams.

Timothy S. Klimpl
(203) 252-2683; tklimpl@carmodylaw.com

Mark F. Williams
(203) 575-2618; mwilliams@carmodylaw.com

You may also reach out to any member of Carmody’s Labor & Employment team.

Giovanna Tiberii Weller
(203) 575-2651; gweller@carmodylaw.com

Domenico Zaino, Jr.
(203) 578-4270; dzaino@carmodylaw.com

Alan H. Bowie
(203) 784-3117; abowie@carmodylaw.com

Maureen Danehy Cox
(203) 575-2642; mcox@carmodylaw.com

Stephanie E. Cummings
(203) 575-2649; scummings@carmodylaw.com

Pamela Elkow
(203) 252-2672; pelkow@carmodylaw.com

Vincent Farisello
(203) 578-4284; vfarisello@carmodylaw.com

Sarah S. Healey
(203) 578-4225; shealey@carmodylaw.com

Lauren M. Hopwood
(203) 784-3104; lhopwood@carmodylaw.com

Howard K. Levine
(203) 784-3102; hlevine@carmodylaw.com

Sherwin M. Yoder
(203) 784-3107; syoder@carmodylaw.com

Ann H. Zucker
(203) 252-2652; azucker@carmodylaw.com

On the first day of his Presidency, President Joseph R. Biden made two major changes at the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”.)

First, President Biden terminated the current NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb.  By way of background, the NLRB General Counsel is the agency’s chief attorney and, among other things, determines the cases the Board will pursue and issues guidance on important labor law issues.  Upon taking office, President Biden requested former General Counsel Robb’s resignation, however, he refused to resign.  As a result, President Biden terminated General Counsel Robb, who had approximately 10 months left in his term.

Second, President Biden named Lauren McFerran the Chairperson of the Board.  By way of background, the Board is comprised of a five-member panel and a majority of members are appointed by the President.  Chairperson McFerran replaced former Chairperson Jonathan F. Ring, who was appointed by President Trump.  Although Chairperson McFerran will now lead the Board, she is still outnumbered by prior Trump appointees 3-1 as she is the sole Democrat on the Board and there is one vacancy.  We expect that President Biden will appoint an individual to the vacant seat on the Board; however, the Trump-appointed Board will maintain a majority until August 27, 2021, when Board Member William J. Emanuel’s term expires.

We are continuing to monitor developments at the NLRB and will keep you updated.

On December 28, 2020, President Trump signed into law a $2.3 trillion dollar Omnibus Spending Bill.  The massive Omnibus Spending Bill contains several Acts, including the Continued Assistance to Unemployed Workers Act (“CAUWA”), mainly focusing on the expansion of federal unemployment relief and worker entitlements.

One of the highlights of CAUWA is the extension of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) tax credit for employers through March 2021, without a corresponding extension of the mandated leave entitlements.  When FFCRA was first enacted, it required employers with 500 or fewer employees to provide both paid sick leave (“EPSL”) and paid family medical leave (“EFMLA”) in specific COVID-19 related circumstances.  Employers were then eligible for a dollar-for-dollar tax credit on amounts paid under the EPSL and EFMLA mandates.  FFCRA’s tax credit and mandate were set to expire on December 31, 2020.

As noted above, the CAUWA now gives employers the option to provide EPSL and EFMLA benefits and claim the dollar-for-dollar tax credit. Employers should be mindful that the extension of the tax credit does not seem to renew the EPSL time off entitlements.  Therefore, an employee who used all available EPSL time prior to December 31, 2020 would likely not be eligible for additional time off between January 1, 2021 and March 31, 2021 and the employer would likely not be eligible for a tax credit for additional hours taken.

On the face of the legislation, the EFMLA entitlements also do not seem to be extended.  However, the creation of EFMLA is tied to the existing FMLA structure giving rise to some concern that the EFMLA entitlements may reset if an employer’s underlying FMLA policy has also reset.   At this time, no guidance has been issued by the DOL or IRS on this point.

Employers who choose to extend the available FFCRA benefits should consider if they will offer only EPSL or EFMLA or both.  Any decision to extend one or both of the FFCRA benefits must apply to all employees.

Other benefits provided under CAUWA are extensions of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (with a reduction in the weekly benefit from $600 to $300), and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.  These extensions are effective through March 14, 2021; however, in limited circumstances some eligible individuals may be able to extend their benefits through April 5, 2021.  CAUWA also clarifies that business expenses paid with Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) funds are still eligible to be claimed on tax returns.

Any employer seeking to craft a policy to address the FFCRA benefits should consult with their legal team.  The Labor and Employment team at Carmody is here to assist with these questions and any other employment questions your business may have.

Stephanie E. Cummings practices with Carmody’s Labor and Employment team and has experience in a variety of additional areas such as corporate law, personal injury, real estate, trust and estates and general civil litigation. 

This information is for educational purposes only to provide general information and a general understanding of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not establish any attorney-client relationship. 

On Sunday night, President Trump signed into law the $2.3 trillion Omnibus Spending Bill, which includes $900 billion in funding for COVID-19 relief.  The massive bill encompasses various Acts including (1) the Continued Assistance to Unemployed Workers Act, (2) the Economic Aid to Hard Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act, (3) the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Relief Act of 2020, and (4) the No Surprises Act. These Acts are summarized below.

The Continued Assistance to Unemployed Workers Act (CAUWA)

The CAUWA provides for an extension of the federal unemployment benefits originally provided under the CARES Act. It includes direct stimulus payments, amends the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA), and provides clarification on the tax implications associated with PPP forgiveness.

  • Unemployment Benefits

The CARES Act of March 2020 included the following federal unemployment benefits:

  1. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which provided relief to those who are not typically qualified to receive state unemployment benefits,
  2. The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which provided federal unemployment dollars over and above state provided benefits, and
  3. The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provided benefits to those who have utilized all available state unemployment benefits.

These programs have now been extended through March 14, 2021. In certain circumstances, eligible individuals may be able to extend their benefits through April 5, 2021.

Notable changes include the reduction in FPUC from the $600 weekly federal benefit provided under the CARES Act to a $300 weekly federal benefit.  Also, CAUWA requires that unemployment applicants and recipients provide supporting documentation of their need for assistance.  States utilizing the federal funding must implement a system to identify and address employees refusing to return to work without good cause.

  • Stimulus Payments

CAUWA provides a federal stimulus direct payment of $600 to each eligible individual and $600 for each qualifying child. Individuals with an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less are generally qualified to receive the entire benefit amount.

  • PPP Taxation

CAUWA clarifies that business expenses, claimed as “eligible expenditures” for PPP forgiveness, are also eligible to be written off as business expenses for tax purposes.

  • FFCRA

FFCRA, originally set to expire Thursday, required certain entities provide employees with up to 80 hours of paid sick leave and up to 10 weeks of paid family medical leave for qualifying reasons.  Covered employers were eligible for a dollar for dollar tax credit for any paid sick or family medical leave paid under FFCRA.  CAUWA extends the federal dollar for dollar tax credit to March 31, 2021 for benefits paid in accordance with the structure of the FFCRA program, but no longer requires that employers provide FFCRA benefits. Employees who have exhausted FFCRA benefits will not be eligible for additional FFCRA benefits.

The Economic Aid to Hard Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act

The Economic Aid to Hard Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act (the “Economic Aid Act”) expands eligible PPP expenditures, creates a simplified forgiveness application for PPP loans under $150,000, clarifies eligible PPP payroll costs, creates the Second Draw Program, reauthorizes the PPP loan program, and extends federal payments on certain SBA loans.

  • Expansion of PPP Eligible Expenditures

The Economic Aid Act expands the list of eligible expenditures that will qualify for PPP forgiveness.  Newly eligible expenses under PPP now include: (1) operations expenses such as business software, cloud computing costs, payroll expenses, billing costs, inventory costs, etc.; (2) property damage caused by vandalism and looting that is not covered by insurance; (3) essential supplier costs that were contracted for prior to the covered loan period (or if for fresh produce contracted for during the covered loan period); and (4) PPE including creation of physical barriers, vent systems, expansion of indoor/outdoor business space, and offsite health screenings.

  • Simplified Loan Forgiveness

An entity receiving a loan of $150,000 or less will now be eligible to use a one page simplified forgiveness application. However, such entities are still subject to audit and are required to keep documentation on payroll expenses and employee counts for four years and other eligible expenses for three years after submission of the forgiveness application.

  • Clarification of PPP “Group Health Care Benefits”

The Economic Aid Act also clarifies that PPP payroll costs for “group health care benefits” include group life, disability, vision and dental insurance benefits.

  • Second Draw Program

The Economic Aid Act creates the Second Draw Program, a new funding resource for businesses that (1) used, or will use, all of their PPP funds, (2) employ less than 300 employees, and (3) experienced at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts in any 2020 quarter as compared with the same 2019 quarter. This program has further limitations over and above employee count and reduced gross receipts, including a prohibition on funding for think tanks, businesses created in China, or businesses with a Chinese citizen on its Board of Directors, among other limitations.

The maximum loan amount available under the Second Draw Program is generally calculated at the lesser of 2.5 times the monthly payroll costs or $2,000,000.  Specific funding rules and limitations apply for various employer types, such as seasonal employers and NAICS code 72 employers (restaurants and hospitality) among others.   The Economic Aid Act also creates a simplified lending process for those entities seeking a Second Draw loan of $150,000 or less.

  • Expansion of the PPP program

The Economic Aid Act addresses the situation where businesses initially applied for, or received less, than the maximum loan they were qualified to receive.  Under the Economic Aid Act, certain entities who have not yet sought forgiveness, are able to apply for additional monies to make up the difference between what the entity was initially granted and the maximum available.

Additionally, the Economic Aid Act reauthorizes the PPP program by providing $35 billion for first time PPP borrowers and $15 billion for first time PPP borrowers (1) with 10 employees or less or (2) located in low-income or moderate-income neighborhoods and seeking loans of $250,000 or less, among other funding.

  • Debt Relief Expansion

The Economic Aid Act expands federal payments towards qualifying SBA loans.  Businesses with current, eligible SBA loans will receive an additional three months of principal, interest and costs paid by the federal government beginning on February 1, 2021.  Businesses with eligible SBA loans in deferment will receive an additional three months of principal, interest and costs paid by the federal government after deferment ends.  Businesses that receive a new eligible SBA loan between February 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021 will receive the first six months of principal, interest and costs paid by the federal government.  The Economic Aid Act does provide some limitations, including that only one qualifying loan per entity is eligible for the payments and the principal, interest, and costs payment may not exceed $9,000.00 per month.

Certain NAICS code entities may be eligible for an additional five months of principal, interest, and costs payments after the completion of the respective three or six month period concludes.  Eligible NAICS codes include: 61 (education), 71 (performing arts), 72 (restaurants and hospitality) , 213 (mining and drilling) , 315 (textile and apparel production), 448 (apparel stores), 451 (hobby stores), 481 (air transportation), 485 (transportation), 487 (scenic and sightseeing), 511 (publishing), 512 (Motion Pictures/Music) , 515 (broadcasting) , 532 (rental and leasing), and 812 (personal care services).

The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020

Among the tax and benefit provisions in The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Relief Act of 2020 is an extension of The Employee Retention and Rehiring Tax Credit in the CARES Act to cover qualified wages up to July 1, 2021. There are also provisions allowing for greater flexibility for dependent care and health flexible spending accounts-with 12 month grace periods and carryover of unused amounts for 2020 and 2021 years.

The No Surprises Act

The No Surprises Act prohibits “Surprise Medical Billing” by health plans and doctors for out of network and other situations where surprise billing often occurs.

For questions, please reach out to Stephanie E. Cummings or Mark F. Williams.

Stephanie E. Cummings
(203) 575-2649; scummings@carmodylaw.com

Mark F. Williams
(203) 575-2618; mwilliams@carmodylaw.com

You may also reach out to any member of Carmody’s Labor & Employment team.

Giovanna Tiberii Weller
(203) 575-2651; gweller@carmodylaw.com

Domenico Zaino, Jr.
(203) 578-4270; dzaino@carmodylaw.com

Alan H. Bowie
(203) 784-3117; abowie@carmodylaw.com

Maureen Danehy Cox
(203) 575-2642; mcox@carmodylaw.com

Pamela Elkow
(203) 252-2672; pelkow@carmodylaw.com

Vincent Farisello
(203) 578-4284; vfarisello@carmodylaw.com

Sarah S. Healey
(203) 578-4225; shealey@carmodylaw.com

Lauren M. Hopwood
(203) 784-3104; lhopwood@carmodylaw.com

Timothy S. Klimpl
(203) 252-2683; tklimpl@carmodylaw.com

Howard K. Levine
(203) 784-3102; hlevine@carmodylaw.com

Sherwin M. Yoder
(203) 784-3107; syoder@carmodylaw.com

Ann H. Zucker
(203) 252-2652; azucker@carmodylaw.com

On Friday, November 20th, Carmody Torrance Sandak and Hennessey LLP was pleased to host a live discussion on Connecticut’s upcoming paid family and medical leave program with Andrea Barton Reeves, CEO of the Connecticut Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Authority.  As the Insurance Authority’s first CEO, Ms. Barton Reeves is responsible for establishing and administering the state’s new paid family and medical leave program, which is being implemented in stages between now and 2022, when paid family and medical leave becomes available to employees in Connecticut.

Approximately 200 registrants attended the webinar, during which Ms. Barton Reeves addressed important topics such as:

  • Covered and exempt employers;
  • Employee eligibility;
  • Mandatory payroll deductions beginning in 2021 to fund the program;
  • Private and self-funded plan options;
  • Employee job protection vs. eligibility for insurance benefits; and
  • Many novel questions about how the mechanics and enforcement of CT Paid FMLA will work.

As Connecticut moves toward the full rollout of Paid Family and Medical Leave for benefits beginning in 2022, there are several significant deadlines along the way, including registration by employers with the Insurance Authority before December 31, 2020 to remit employee payroll deductions beginning January 1, 2021.