June 13, 2024

Happy Fathers’ Day: Connecticut Dads Supported by CT Paid Leave Law

On Fathers Day, as families across our state are celebrating fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers and close paternal figures, many Connecticut fathers can also celebrate that they have access to a modern and comprehensive paternal leave program.

Connecticut is one of only thirteen states that offer paid family leave. The CT Paid Leave program was signed into law in 2021 through the leadership of Democrats in the Senate, House and Executive Branch, especially that of State Senator Julie Kushner, Chair of the Labor and Public Employees Committee. The program is an employee contribution benefit program that provides families with a wage replacement while they take either continuous or intermittent leave, or reduce their hours.

One aspect of Connecticut’s leave program that is especially beneficial to eligible employees is its broad interpretation of family. You can take leave to care for your own health issues or to care for a loved one, to recover from pregnancy and child birth, or to bond with a newborn or adopted child.

While all contributing employees are eligible, according to CT Paid Leave Authority’s 2023 Annual Report, the number of women applying for paid leave benefits continued to outpace men by nearly 2:1. Women accounted for almost 64% of all applications filed and men accounted for 34%.

From June 1, 2022, through May 31, 2023, the Authority approved 57,192 claims. For approved claims, an employee’s own serious health condition was the top leave reason at 44.73% of all approvals, followed by bonding at 27.15%, pregnancy/childbirth at 18.53%, and care of a family member at 9.28%. Adoption/foster care accounted for 0.19%.

While Connecticut dads are eligible for leave, they may not be taking it. According to a survey done by the U.S. Department of Labor, their data shows that nine out of ten U.S. fathers take some time off work for the birth or adoption of a child, however seventy percent of fathers take ten days of leave or less.

Paternal leave boasts many benefits for dads and families – it allows fathers and partners to better bond with their baby, allows for an equal division of domestic tasks, and offers much needed support to the birthing parent while they recover. Studies also show that paid leave decreases work-family conflict for fathers, and when fathers take leave, it can increase employment and pay for mothers.

New parents aren’t the only ones who can take advantage of Connecticut’s Paid Leave law. Those who are experiencing a serious health condition, caring for a loved one, or have been impacted by family violence are all eligible for these benefits

This Fathers Day, celebrate the fathers, fathers-to-be and male caretakers in your life by sharing with them information about Connecticut’s Paid Leave program! Learn more at CTPaidLeave.org

Posted by Garnet McLaughlin