Paid Leave Authority CEO Andrea Barton Reeves (CTNewsJunkie file photo) Credit: Christine Stuart photo

Fewer than half of the state’s 100,000 businesses have registered with the state as part of the Paid Family Medical Leave program. 

Some 40,000 Connecticut businesses have registered with the state to withhold half of a percent from employee wages to pay up to 12 weeks of paid family leave benefits starting in 2022. 

Andrea Barton Reeves, CEO of the CT Paid Leave Authority, strongly urged all businesses to register with the CT Paid Leave Authority and begin withholding. 

She warned that if they don’t there will be penalties. 

Businesses that fail to register by February 1 can face financial and paperwork challenges under state labor laws that severely limit how much an employer can take from an employee’s paycheck for missed withholdings, according to Barton Reeves. 

“We are working every day to get the word out to businesses that they need to register and begin withholding, and tens of thousands have done so,” Barton Reeves said. “But we are fast approaching a date where it will become much more challenging if they have not.” 

Barton Reeves said businesses that don’t register could find themselves responsible for the funds not withheld, or faced with complicated and time-consuming paperwork to find a remedy. 

Registration will give businesses access to ongoing information about the program and how it will work. 

“Our message to businesses is go to, get registered immediately and start withholding because you really can’t go back to your employees to catch up on missed deductions,” Barton Reeves added. “It takes only minutes to register and we’re here to help.” 

The program established in 2019 will provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave for workers who take time off due to an illness, to care for a family member or to give birth. 

Withholding from employee paychecks started January 1, 2021 and benefits will be available on January 1, 2022. Under the law, businesses are required to remit the withholding to the Authority quarterly.