The state of Connecticut just announced new legislature to benefit working families. Governor Ned Lamont signed the bill into law on Tuesday, following approval from the state’s senate and house. The new bill will provide private sector employees with 12 weeks of paid parental leave to care for a new baby as well as sick family members.
This plan would also extend to hourly workers, who are guaranteed 95 percent of their earnings up to $900 per week. For those that aren’t able to work during pregnancy, an extra two weeks of benefits will be provided. The new law won’t go into effect until January 1, 2022. Governor Lamont announced the bill on his official Instagram page, promising: “Supporting the working families of our state will strengthen our economic footing and make Connecticut a stronger place to live, work, and do business.”
The bill is similar to one passed earlier this year in New Jersey, which also offers workers 12 weeks of paid leave – but at any 12-month period of their choosing. The state of Washington also recently passed a family leave law which offers 16 weeks of paid leave to care for infants.
While these laws sound great and are certainly a step in the right direction, the U.S. is way behind other countries when it comes to paid family leave. According to a map created by the World Policy Analysis Center at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health, the United States is one of few developed countries that still does not legally guarantee parental leave. Yikes.
Countries such as Japan, South Korea, Canada, and France are ahead of the game when it comes to paid family leave, making many question why a powerful nation like the United States is so slow to provide these kinds of benefits for workers. Hopefully, more states will continue to follow suit.
View this post on Instagram
It made me incredibly proud to be surrounded by such good, kindhearted people today as I signed an historic law enacting a paid family and medical leave program in #Connecticut. Supporting the working families of our state will strengthen our economic footing and make Connecticut a stronger place to live, work, and do business. . Adopting this program means that workers who need to take time off for a new baby or recover from illness are not punished financially, and businesses do not risk losing good workers during those emergencies. Regardless of whether a public or private entity administers this program, there will be no profit motive to deny any applicant. . We know working families are the backbone of our state. If they are not financially stable, Connecticut will never be. . #FMLA #PaidLeave #ThankYouCT