I saw more lawsuits filed by the EEOC in the past few weeks then I have seen in a long time. The lawsuits include COVID-related discrimination claims, but also suits regarding individual (vs. systemic) claims. So, if you have pending EEOC charges, be sure that you address them in a diligent manner.
The 16 weeks of continuous Connecticut FMLA leave will now continue into 2022, but there are issues with leave that began in 2021.
The Connecticut Department of Labor (DOL) has released its Guidance on how employers should assess leaves that cross from 2021 to 2022. According to the Guidance, “if [an employee starts] CTFMLA leave prior to January 2022, the duration of [their] CTFMLA leave would be capped at 12 weeks in the applicable 12-month period as of January 1, 2022, even if [they] were approved for, and commenced, 16 weeks of CTFMLA leave in 2021.”
For continuous leave that runs into 2022, an employer will need to view leave status as of January 1, 2022, under the new law and based on the measuring period the company uses (rolling lookback period, calendar year, or other method). For example, for an employer using a 12-month look back period, if an employee beginning a continuous leave this fall will use 12 weeks of Connecticut FMLA leave prior to January 1, based on the Connecticut DOL Guidance, they will have no CTFMLA remaining as of January 1. Under this example, the employee would have 12 weeks covered by CTFMLA, not 16 weeks.
The Guidance does not have the same legal authority as CTFMLA regulations, which are expected later this year. As the DOL notes in the Guidance, “if a complaint is filed in court, that court may have a different interpretation [than that set forth in the Guidance].”
Written by: Gordon M. Berger, Partner