Connecticut’s Family and Medical Leave Act radically changes on January 1, 2022.  Before to 2022, Connecticut law provided for up to 16 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave for covered life events.  Eligible employees were those who worked for a “covered employer” for more than one year and worked more than 1,000 hours in the previous 12-months.  “Covered employers,” generally, where those employers that employed 75 or more employees.  If those conditions were met, and the employee experienced a covered life event, then the employee could take up to 16 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave.

Effective January 1, 2022, however, Connecticut’s Paid and Family Medical Leave Act takes full effect – meaning that virtually all employees working in Connecticut (regardless of the size of the employer) will be eligible for 12 weeks of paid  job-protected leave.  Employees may either use their paid leave entitlement from their employer (being allowed to retain up to two weeks of paid leave for later use) or can take advantage of paid leave through a fund established from employee contributions (which began in 2021).

On December 1, I was privileged to present a one-hour webinar for the Pro Bono Partnership focusing on the intricacies of the Connecticut Paid and Family Medical Leave Act.  You may view the presentation and the materials here.

The Connecticut Paid Leave Authority began accepting applications for paid leave on December 1 and expects between 1,000 and 1,500 applications each day.

To the extent you have questions about the Connecticut Paid and Family Medical Leave Act, you should confer with legal counsel of your choice or reach out to the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority or the Connecticut Department of Labor.

The term “Churchillian” describes a writer or speaker whose style emulates that of Former Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.  Politicians are called Churchillian when they appear to be uncompromising, focused, and strong.  Not often does one come across a Churchillian figure.  Rarer still when one comes upon a Churchillian response to a crisis.

In my May 7, 2021 Blog Post (“The Pandemic’s End Ends Not the Pain”), I outlined my thoughts about the next COVID-19 challenge – dealing with the economic consequences of four (4) million years of “lost life” and the ongoing economic impact to COVID-19 Long Haulers (those suffering Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome or “PACS”).  I candidly expressed my concern that these twin impacts disproportionately hit underserved and disadvantaged communities, and these impacts could last a generation or more.  And I boldly suggested that it did not have to be this way – That examples from our past could give a roadmap to lessen these twin injuries and help us move forward.

Continue Reading Time for Churchillian Action

Continues the great “Broccoli Fight of 2021.”

(I acknowledge the hyperbole.  Vegetables do that to me.)

Like George H. W. Bush, I do not like broccoli.  At least one Texas federal judge seems to love it and thinks all Texas employers can make their employees eat it or lose their jobs.

The Backstory:  I published two blog posts addressing whether employers can force employees to get COVID-19 vaccinations.  You can read them here (“Eat Your Broccoli, or Else!”)(April 16, 2021) and here (“Broccoli Must be Good for You:  The Government Says So”)(June 4, 2021).  I raised the question of whether the “boss” can require workers to submit to medical procedures (in this case, COVID-19 vaccinations) to keep their jobs.  I freely acknowledged that I received the vaccine as soon as I could, but I recognized that others might make different choices.  I also acknowledged that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had published materials to the effect that it believed federal EEO laws permitted an employer to require vaccinations (subject to certain Continue Reading A Court Votes for . . . Broccoli?

EEOC published more guidance saying employers can mandate COVID-19 vaccinations.  The “fine print” behind the attention-grabbing headlines finds serious questions unanswered.

Continues exploring mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for workers.

The EEOC updated its COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the cusp of the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend, the unofficial “kick-off” to summer.  The Biden Administration and State Governments make no secret of their desire to get all Americans vaccinated so we can get back to “normal” (whatever that means).

Taking the broad view, contrasting approaches to vaccination incentives resemble a high school science experiment:  officials are trying different approaches to see what works best.  Krispy Kreme offers free donuts; Ohio offers a million-dollar lottery; Indiana offers free Girl Scout Cookies at selected sites; Miami offers a “shot” for a “shot” (free liquor to those 21 or older).

Some believe (that would be me) the CDC announced its sudden “no mask needed if vaccinated” guidance on May 13 to spur folks to get vaccinated. Continue Reading Broccoli Must be Good for You:  The Government Says So

Examines

The Next Challenge:  COVID-19’s Recovery

We rightly celebrate the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines and the lifting of “stay-at-home” orders.  No one yet says the Pandemic is over.  Many see that the end is in sight, that there is “light” at the “end of the tunnel.”

If we are not careful, not thoughtful about the challenges on our joint recovery road, the light might be a train.

We will take a while to process the scale of COVID-19’s toll.  That toll does not measure easily.  More than 580,000 American lives lost.  Over 33 million Americans ill.  These numbers only begin the tally.  By one estimate, in 2020 alone, U.S. women and men lost over 4 million “years of life” – a measure used by insurance companies and actuaries to gauge the number of years shaved off “normal” life by disease and death.  Focus on that for a minute.  COVID-19 cut short four million years of productive life – Life people would have “used” earning livings, learning, enjoying other’s company, and engaging in those things which make life worth living.

The loss of four million years of useful life does not fit in my brain.  Can we put another number on it?  The median American makes $38,000 per year.  Do the math.  Four million times $38,000 equals what?  My calculator reads:  1.52e11?  That is One-Hundred, Fifty-Two billion dollars — $152,000,000,000.

Every dollar lost means less spent on college, retirement, entertainment, food, clothing, shelter, movies, music and so Continue Reading The Pandemic’s End Ends Not the Pain.

Explores mandatory COVID-19 Vaccines for Workers.

 

Vaccinations dominate the news.  Simultaneously offering hope and fear, “vaccine-talk” and discussions about “mandates,” “passports,” “segregation,” “dissent,” and “peer pressure” intertwine to create confusion and dread.  Mandating the use of any product should not be done lightly.  Remember Obamacare?  Forcing workers to use a product to keep their jobs strikes some as unfair.  Should the boss force workers to eat broccoli if that is good for them?  What if the boss can “prove” eating broccoli makes better workers, reduces sick leave and improves performance?  No one forced Popeye to eat his spinach.  Can “the job” force workers to stop smoking or drinking alcohol? Continue Reading Eat Your Broccoli, or Else!