by Shelby Felton, Esq. - Director and Product Compliance Counsel
January 31, 2024
Like the avocados you are sure you just bought, is your Connecticut PFML private plan expiring? Private PFML plans in Connecticut are effective for three years, unlike the avocados which barely last for three days. Since the CT PFML program began in 2021, many private plans are expiring now. Unlike avocado sellers, the CT Paid Leave Authority is being wonderfully helpful and sending emails to employers to remind them of when their plan expires. Have you received yours?
Employers with expiring CT PFML private plan have two options:
- Renew the private plan for three more years by submitting a new private plan application; or
- Return to the public paid leave program on the date immediately following the private plan expiration date.
On October 12, 2023, the CT Paid Leave Authority adopted Revised Policy & Procedures For An Employer To Apply To Use A Private Plan available here. Attached as Exhibits to these policies and procedures is a revised self-insurance plan document (Exhibit A) and a revised Plain Language Guide template (Exhibit B). Employers should use these documents when submitting their 2024 renewals.
Employers that are renewing their CTPL private plan, must submit a new private plan application. Remember, an application must be submitted for each FEIN that includes Connecticut employees. Instructions to remind employers how to file a private plan application can be found on the state's website here. Every renewal application must comply with the same requirements as an initial private plan application, including a new vote from all Connecticut employees.
All employees working in Connecticut on the employer's payroll as of the date or time period of the vote must be given the opportunity to vote anonymously on the renewed private plan. This includes full-time, part-time and probationary employees, as well as any regular employees who are on a paid or unpaid leave of absence on the day of the vote (such as vacation, medical, parental, family, military, educational, disciplinary, etc.). According to the revised private plan policies and procedures, the vote can occur no earlier than 6 months prior to the anticipated effective date of the private plan and each FEIN must hold its vote separate and apart from other legal entities.
At least 2 weeks prior to the date scheduled for the anonymous employee vote, the employer must again provide all employees with a copy of its sample PFML insured or self-funded policy, a copy of a Plain Language Guide, and information regarding the process by which CT employees will vote. The materials provided to employees must be language and disability accessible. A majority (more than 50%) of the employer's eligible CT Employees (not just those who chose to vote) must approve the private plan, even on a renewal.
In order to renew the private plan exemption and avoid a gap in the private plan coverage, the renewal private plan application must be approved no later than 30 days prior to the expiration of the current private plan.
If an employer fails to take action to renew its private plan, it will automatically return to the public plan at the expiration of the private plan. Importantly, an employer will face a penalty equal to the first full quarter of contributions under the public program for its failure to notify the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority that it is returning to the public program.
Employers choosing to return to the public program must provide notice to the CT Paid Leave Authority at least 90 days prior to the expiration date of the private plan. When an employer returns to the public program, employees will be able to file for paid leave benefits on or after the date of the transition. The employer will owe contributions to the Authority which are due by the last day of the calendar quarter in which the transition occurs.
Make sure you timely renew your CT PFML private plan and avoid a penalty worse than brown mushy avocados for failing to act.
Reliance Matrix Can Help!
If you need help with your private plan renewals in mandatory PFML states, Reliance Matrix offers employers leave administration, including state paid family and medical leave solutions and accommodation services. For more information, contact your Reliance Matrix account manager or send us a message to [email protected].
Through its insurance and administrative services entities, Reliance Matrix offers integrated leave management services involving the FMLA, state-mandated paid family and medical leave and accommodation solutions. Product features and availability may vary by state. For more information, please contact your Reliance Matrix account manager, or reach us at [email protected].