A member of the city’s assembly delegation has called on the state to delay its implementation of the Family Medical Leave Act in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rep. Charles Ferraro called for the delay, following a letter sent by GOP leadership concerning the difficulties small businesses are having.
Last week, House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora sent a letter to Comptroller Kevin Lembo regarding Connecticut’s new Family Medical Leave Act payroll tax. While the state gave businesses an enrollment deadline of March 1, it has become known that the State of Connecticut has failed to enact its own policies upon its non-unionized employee’s payroll.
“As a small business owner, and long-standing member of the Appropriations Committee, I know all too well the effect of over taxing our working class and the businesses they work for. That is why I submitted House Bill 5962, this session, proposing the postponement of the payroll deduction for the Paid Family Leave Act for one year,” said Ferraro “Connecticut has become far too complacent in letting our businesses and workers struggle. Every year there are new fees and taxes added to an already stifled economy. How can we create job growth if our working class and subsequently our businesses can’t succeed? We need to give our workers a hand up so we can help them to get back onto their feet.”
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.
“Last year, my caucus repeatedly requested for Gov. (Ned) Lamont to delay the start of the PFMLA payroll tax, citing the stress it would place on businesses and cash-strapped residents. With the state awaiting on tens-of-thousands of businesses to comply, it appears that, just as predicted, private sector employers are facing complications with the start of this program.”
The GOP assemblyman noted the state itself has been lax in implementing the law, and that should be enough reason for the delay.
“It is also apparent that the State of Connecticut was ill-prepared, as it has failed to make the necessary program initiation and payroll deductions of its non-unionized employees. I stood with my colleagues then, just as I do now,” he said.