Windsor (SevenMaps via Shutterstock)

The insurance company Aflac was chosen as the claims administrator for Connecticut’s new paid Family and Medical Leave Program. 

The fortune 500 company known for its supplemental insurance product will be moving 150 jobs to Windsor as a result of the award by the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority. 

“This is not only great news for workers in Connecticut, it is further proof that our state is poised for economic growth,” Gov. Ned Lamont said. “Ensuring that our residents don’t have to choose between going to work and taking care of themselves and their families has always been a priority for our administration, and I’m pleased to see we’re continuing our forward progress in building this program.”

Windsor’s Mayor Don Trinks also applauded the decision. 

“Aflac’s role in paid leave will bring jobs and investment, but will also support the needs of Connecticut residents, which aligns with our values as a town,”  Trinks said in a statement. 

Aflac U.S. President Teresa L. White said,  “This is a major step for Aflac as it signifies our commitment to develop our business and serve the people of Connecticut. We look forward to delivering an excellent customer experience for those who engage with Connecticut’s PFML program.”

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’s unions are not happy about the news. They believe the state employees can do the work and there’s no need to hire an outside claims administrator. 

“We are disappointed by the governor’s decision to outsource work that can be performed more effectively and at less cost by dedicated state employees within the Department of Labor,” Jody Barr, president of AFSCME Council 4, said. 

The unions, which don’t have to comply with the program, supported the passage of the legislation in 2019.

“Once again, the state of Connecticut is handing millions of dollars over to a for-profit company at the expense of taxpayers,” Sal Luciano, president of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, said. “Not only are Department of Labor workers better able to do the work, they would do it at a lower cost since they wouldn’t need to line the pockets of corporate CEOs and wealthy investors. It should not be seen as a victory that a for-profit insurance company creates 150 jobs in your state after you hand them nearly $24 million.”