House chamber. (Nagel Photography via Shutterstock)

Connecticut businesses have been forced to comply with the state’s new Paid Family Medical Leave provision, but the state has been unable to figure out how to make it work for its non-unionized state employees. 

More than 60,000 businesses have signed up with the state to start a mandatory payroll deduction of 0.5 percent for private sector and non-unionized state employees. 

“It’s outrageous that state government has yet to deduct a dime from the paychecks of its own employees while the paid family leave authority is urging private sector employers to comply,” House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora said Tuesday in this letter to State Comptroller Kevin Lembo. “That the state didn’t have a method to make its own payroll deductions is further evidence this program wasn’t ready for prime time, and these types of issues, combined with the pandemic, bolsters the argument that implementation of this program should have been delayed.”

A spokesman from Lembo’s office said their financial software system is “incapable of accurately applying the deductions,” so “a decision was made to delay the process until a custom-built solution could be implemented to ensure no ineligible employees would be charged.”

Non-union payroll deductions are now scheduled to begin in the second pay cycle of April for non-union state employees. A one percent catchup per pay cycle to meet the retroactive total back to January 1 will be made. 

Late last year, Republicans repeatedly called for Gov. Ned Lamont to delay implementation of the program, citing the stress it would place on businesses and cash-strapped residents.

Earlier this week the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority held a press conference  to encourage more than 44,000 businesses to comply with the new program.