FOR CONNECTICUT EMPLOYERS:
Employers with questions may call 860-263-6705 or email DOL.MeritRating@ct.gov for assistance.
Can I require my employees to stay home if they are sick with COVID-19
- Yes, you can require your employee to stay home. However, you should issue the employee an Unemployment Separation Package, found here. Your employee may file for unemployment benefits and a determination will be made concerning their eligibility. Determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis. However, please note that an individual must be physically able and available for full time work in order to qualify for unemployment benefits, unless the individual has a note from a physician stating that the individual is only available for part time work.
If I have to close the doors of my business for 14 days because an employee is sick and other employees need to be isolated, how do my employees file for unemployment benefits?
- Please direct your employees to www.filectui.com and click the blue button to file their new claim for unemployment benefits.
- For ongoing weekly continued claims filing, employees should go to www.filectui.com and click the green button.
- The agency issues important emails throughout the initial claim filing process. Please advise your employees to look for these emails and read them carefully for next steps. If I have to close the doors of my business for 14 days because an employee is sick and other employees need to be isolated, will I be liable for unemployment benefit charges?
- You will be liable in the same way you would be for a layoff or a shut down.
- If the President declares a disaster that includes Connecticut and your company, it is possible you may not be liable.
Is there an alternative to laying off my employees if business has slowed down as a result of COVID-19?
- Yes. The Department of Labor offers a SharedWork program which is a smart alternative to a layoff. The program allows employers to reduce the hours of fulltime employees by as much as 60 percent, while their workers collect partial unemployment benefits to replace a portion of their lost wages.
- All employers with two or more full-time or permanent part-time employees can participate in the program, which is not designed for seasonal separations. To qualify, the business’ reduction of work cannot be less than 10 percent or more than 60 percent. First fiscal quarter payments to DOL are due by April 30, 2020.
If my business is closed I will not be able to file by then. What should I do?
As of now, an extension of the date has not occurred. Check back here for updates, as this may change as the date approaches.
PAID SICK LEAVE (PSL) AND OTHER ABSENCES
Does the Paid Sick Leave (PSL) law cover my absence due to COVID-19?
- For covered service workers and employers with 50 or more employees, PSL will cover certain absences caused by COVID-19.
- PSL provides up to 40 hours of leave for certain workers per year for the following reasons:
- A service worker’s illness, injury or health condition
- The medical diagnosis, care or treatment of a service worker’s mental illness or physical illness, injury or health condition
- Preventative medical care for a service worker
- A service worker’s child’s or spouse’s illness, injury or health condition
- The medical diagnosis, care or treatment of a service worker’s child’s or spouse’s mental or physical illness, injury or health condition
- Preventative medical care for a child or spouse of a service worker
My employer, who has 20 employees in CT, sent me home because I had a fever and then terminated my employment. Can he do that?
- Employees in CT are generally considered at-will employees, which means that either the employer or the employee is free to end the relationship at any time unless there is an applicable contract or collective bargaining agreement.
- Therefore, in most cases, an employer who is not covered by the CT FMLA (over 75 employees in CT), federal FMLA (50 or more employees in a 75-mile radius) or CT’s Paid Sick Leave law (50 employees in CT) may terminate an employee for any reason as long as such termination is not based on an employee’s protected status such as the employee’s race, color, religious creed, age, sex, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, ancestry, present or past history of mental disability, intellectual disability, learning disability, physical disability, including, but not limited to, blindness or status as a veteran or any other applicable contract or law.
- The employer may institute a more lenient absenteeism policy.
WAGES AND HOURS
If my employer decides not to open the business for the day or my specific work shift, and notifies me not to report for work, must I be paid?
- If you are a non-exempt “hourly” employee, no. An employer is not required to pay a non-exempt employee for the time in which he or she performs no work.
- If you are an exempt employee and you have worked for any portion of the week, yes. The employer is required to pay you the full weekly salary if you work for any portion of the week.
- Also, it is not permissible for the employer to make any deduction for the time that the exempt employee is absent from work from the employee’s accrued Paid Time Off (“PTO”) benefits, because Conn. State Agencies Regs. § 31-60-14(b)(2)(A) does not permit a deduction “of any kind” when a lack of work is occasioned by the operating requirements of the employer.
If an employer decides to keep the business open, but the employee elects not to report for work, must the employee be paid?
- No. For the non-exempt employee, an employer is not required to pay a nonexempt employee for the time in which he or she performs no work. For the exempt employee, the employer may make a deduction in pay in full-day increments pursuant to Conn. State Agencies Regs. § 31-60-14(b)(1)(B) because the employee is asking for the day off for personal reasons. I am shutting down my business for 14 days.
Do I have to pay a non-exempt or exempt employee who does not work at all during the 14 days?
- No. Employees are not required to be paid for any work week in which he or she performs no work at all during the week.
If I need to send one of my employees home during her shift because she is coughing but I am requiring her to work from home, must I pay that employee?
- Yes, in the same manner as she was paid when she worked on the employer’s premises.
- If she is a non-exempt, “hourly” employee, she must be paid for the actual amount of time that you are requiring her to work. You are not required to pay a nonexempt employee for the time in which he or she performs no work.
- If she is an exempt “salaried with qualifying duties” employee, the employer is required to pay her the full weekly salary if she works for any portion of the week. No deductions can be made from the exempt employee’s Paid Time Off (PTO) fringe benefit leave banks to cover the time off, pursuant to Conn. State Agencies