Matt Lesser

State Senator

Matt Lesser

Deputy Majority Leader

Your Independent Voice

February 14, 2019

Lesser Continues to Voice Support for Paid Family And Medical Leave

Today, State Senator Matt Lesser (D-Middletown) joined his colleagues in the House and Senate in support of Paid Family and Medical Leave at a subject matter public hearing.

“As a cancer survivor, I am aware of the mental and physical hardships that come with dealing with a medical emergency,” said Sen. Lesser. “In times like those, a person should not have to rush back to work because they need a source of income. This legislation will close the book on that story by providing our residents with their paycheck so they are able to focus all of their attention on what matters most: their health and the health of their loved ones.”

If enacted, Senate Bill No. 1, “AN ACT CONCERNING PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE,” will ensure employees will not have to choose between their health, family and receiving a paycheck.

The proposed legislation would establish the Paid Family and Medical Leave Program and Paid Family and Medical Leave Trust Fund. As part of the Paid Family and Medical Leave Program, the Labor Department will offer up to 12 workweeks of family and medical leave compensation to employees with insurance for any 12-month period.

As part of the Paid Family and Medical Leave Trust Fund, employees can contribute to the Labor Department for the aforementioned trust fund on or before July 1, 2020. Employees will get compensated by the Labor Department on and after July 1, 2021.

Under the proposed legislation, paid family and medical leave can be taken for the following reasons:

  • The birth of a child.
  • Placing a child in foster care, adopting a child or putting a child up for adoption.
  • Caring for a spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, any other blood-related family or someone whose relationship is consistent with that of a family member.
  • The employees own serious health condition, which requires said employee to be hospitalized, in hospice care, a nursing home, a residential medical care facility or continue outpatient treatment.
  • Saving or donating an organ or bone marrow.
  • Any qualifying urgent need or demand determined by the United States Secretary of Labor, like a blood-related family member reporting to active duty in the armed forces.

Providing employees with paid family and medical leave has been linked to increased productivity, job satisfaction, and employee retention. The following states have some form of paid leave for familial and medical reasons: California, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, the state of Washington, Washington D.C, Wisconsin and Hawaii.

“We are at a competitive disadvantage when states around us are enacting this legislation,” said Sen. Lesser. “This will assist businesses in the ninth district and across the state and keep our economy strong.”

About Matt Lesser: Sen. Lesser was first elected in 2018 to represent the ninth Senate District which consists of Cromwell, Middletown, Newington, Rocky Hill and Wethersfield. Prior to being elected to the State Senate, he was a State Representative for the city of Middletown. He has been a principle author of Connecticut’s Student Loan Bill of Rights, the first in the nation, a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing waste and a major workplace safety law later adapted as a national standard. He has been honored by the Connecticut chapter of the AARP and has been named a champion by the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters.