Martin M. Looney

Senate President Pro Tempore

Martin M. Looney

An Advocate for Us

February 2, 2024


Friday, February 2, 2024




HARTFORD – State Senator Julie Kushner (D-Danbury), state legislators and advocates for working people today announced their intention to introduce legislation in the 2024 legislative session to expand Connecticut’s paid sick leave law to cover all private-sector employees working in all occupations – a change that is expected to benefit an estimated 1.6 million people in Connecticut.

Right now, Connecticut’s 13-year-old paid sick leave law applies only to private-sector employers with more than 50 employees, mostly in “service worker” occupations – about 12% of Connecticut’s entire private-sector workforce.

This year’s legislation will be modeled after 2023’s Senate Bill 1178. Connecticut passed its first paid sick leave law in 2011 as Senate Bill 913, “An Act Mandating Employers Provide Paid Sick Leave to Employees.” Currently, eight states and Washington, D.C. require paid sick leave for any business with one or more employees: Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Vermont and Washington.

“Last year during the public hearing on this bill we heard from auto mechanics and school bus drivers, librarians and elderly advocates, domestic violence survivors and busy moms and people who had experienced multiple illnesses back-to-back. They all had a story to tell, and they all supported an expansion of our current sick leave law, which I’m sad to say is now horribly outdated when compared with other states,” said Sen. Kushner, who is Senate Chair of the Labor and Public Employees Committee. “Connecticut’s private sector is growing by leaps and bounds, driven by people who are hardworking. We owe it to them to make Connecticut an even better place to work as well as a great place to live and raise a family.”

“None of us knows what tomorrow may bring, from a sudden illness, family tragedy, or a life-changing event. Dealing with life’s challenges shouldn’t include worrying about work,” said Rep. Manny Sanchez (D-New Britain). “As the co-chair of the Labor and Public Employees Committee, I fully support the efforts to expand paid sick days for all Connecticut workers, and I look forward to its passage this session.”

“The private-sector workplace is rapidly evolving, with salaries and benefits becoming more and more competitive as unemployment rates drop and our economy continues to expand,” Senate President Martin Looney said. “The expansion of paid sick days to more workers makes sense, both from an economic and a societal standpoint. For low- and moderate-income people, the loss of even a couple of day’s pay is a real hardship; it could mean the difference between having the rent that month or not. Connecticut’s pro-employee policies are also bringing more young workers into the state, and keeping them here, for the quality of life they can experience. That’s also a boon to employers to have a broader pool of prospective employees and a happier, healthier, more productive workforce.”

“As a small-business owner, with fewer than 10 employees, paid time off is one of the only benefits that I can easily afford to offer my employees, versus health insurance or a 401k. It’s very important to my employees and it’s very valued by them. It’s something I have always offered, said Liz Ceppos, owner of Cross-Culture Kombucha of Danbury, which opened six years ago. “There are a lot of costs that go into a business, but valuing your employees so they can stick around and grow with you is super-important. Paid time off is a very easy thing to offer.”

“Expanding paid sick days is good policy that helps to create more economic security for Connecticut workers and protects public health,” said Tonishia A. Signore, Policy Director for

She Leads Justice. “Too many workers, especially workers in low-wage and part-time jobs, are forced to choose between going to work sick for the paycheck they need to survive and caring for themselves or their loved ones. We were the first state to pass a paid sick days law in 2011, but other states – including our neighbors – now offer more comprehensive policies. Connecticut is overdue in ensuring that all workers have access to paid sick days, and it’s imperative that we pass strong legislation this session because Connecticut workers have been waiting too long.”