Posted on March 3, 2021
House Republicans on Tuesday called for a temporary suspension of the state’s new paid family and medical leave program citing the comptroller’s failure to start mandatory payroll deductions from non-unionized state employees.
“It’s outrageous that state government has yet to deduct a dime from the paychecks of its own employees while the paid family leave authority is urging private sector employers to comply,” said House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora, who wrote to the comptroller Tuesday about this issue. “That the state didn’t have a method to make its own payroll deductions is further evidence this program wasn’t ready for prime time, and these types of issues, combined with the pandemic, bolsters the argument that implementation of this program should have been delayed.”
The state’s new paid family and medical leave program, approved by Democrats in 2019, went into effect Jan. 1. It created a mandatory payroll deduction of 0.5 percent for private sector and non-unionized state employees. The state-run CT Paid Leave Authority on Thursday reported that roughly 44,000 businesses have yet to comply with the March 1 registration requirement, a step necessary for employers to begin payroll deductions.
Late last year, House Republicans repeatedly called for Gov. Lamont to delay implementation of the program, citing the stress it would place on businesses and cash-strapped residents.
“We’re troubled that we had to inquire about the deductions for non-unionized state employees—that it wasn’t a fact reported to the legislature,” said Rep. Harry Arora (R-Greenwich), Ranking Member of the Labor Committee. “Above all, transparency is critical to ensuring that residents can feel confident in this or any other state program. Given everything we know today, temporarily suspending the program to assess the current state of implementation and determine what’s needed to get this program firing correctly would be an appropriate move.”