On July 1, 2011, Connecticut became the first state in the nation to pass legislation requiring many employers to allow workers to earn paid sick leave; the law took effect six monthslater. It brought paid sick leave to large numbers of part-time workers in the state for the first time, especially in industries like hospitality and retail. The law also prohibits employers
from penalizing covered workers who take paid sick leave, an important protection. The concerns articulated by many business associations that the law would impose heavy burdens on employers and invite worker abuse turn out to have been misplaced; instead the impact of the new law on business has been modest. One reason for this is that the coverage of the statute is limited, affecting only establishments with 50 or more workers and excluding manufacturing businesses as well as nationally chartered non-profit organizations. In short, this path-breaking legislation has brought paid sick leave to tens of thousands of Connecticut workers, with modest effects or none at all on the state's businesses.
This report examines the experiences of Connecticut employers with the state's paid sick leave law. Between June and September 2013, a year and a half after the law went into effect, we conducted a survey of 251 Connecticut employers covered by the new law using a size stratified random sample. In addition, we conducted on-site interviews with managers, using a convenience sample of 15 covered organizations in the state, to assess the impact of the new law in more detail.
The largest increases in paid sick leave coverage after the law went into effect were in health,education and social services; hospitality; and retail. Part-time workers, rarely covered before the law took effect, benefited disproportionately from its passage. Few employers reported abuse of the new law, and many noted positive benefits such as improved morale and reductions in the spread of illness in the workplace.Most employers reported a modest impact or no impact of the law on their costs or busines soperations, and they typically found that the administrative burden was minimal. Finally, a year and a half after its implementation, more than three-quarters of surveyed employers expressed support for the earned paid sick leave law.