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CONNECTICUT: Payroll law update, July-Dec. 2011

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in Office Management,Payroll Management

Family leave. Beginning Jan. 1, 2012—with the exception of certain manufacturing employers, tax-exempt employers and employers that provide comparable paid leave—employers that employed at least 50 service workers during any quarter of the preceding year must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year. Employers may provide more leave than the statutory requirement. Em­­ployers determine the number of employees annually, on Jan. 1.

Employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours they work. Employees may carry over up to 40 hours of paid leave into the next calendar year. Employees may be allowed to donate unused accrued leave to their co-workers. Employees become entitled to use their paid sick leave after working 680 hours, and an average of at least 10 hours a week during the most recent completed calendar quarter. Upon mutual consent, employees will be not considered to have used paid time off if they choose to work additional hours during the same or the following pay period to make up for the time off. Unless allowed under company policy, employees who terminate aren’t entitled to be cashed out for their accrued leave.

Employees may take paid sick leave for their own illness, injury, health condition or that of their spouses or children; or to seek medical care or psychological or other counseling if they are victims of family violence or sexual assault; to relocate due to family violence or sexual assault or to participate in related court proceedings. Employers may discipline employees who take paid leave for other reasons.

Employers may require that employees provide them with seven days’ notice prior to taking leave, if the need for leave is foreseeable. If the need for leave isn’t foreseeable, employees may be required to provide notice as soon as practicable. Employers may also require that employees provide reasonable documentation of the need for leave, if employees take at least three consecutive days off. Doctors’ notes or documentation signed by a representative of a victim’s services organization, attorney, police office or other counsel is considered reasonable.

Employers must provide new hires with notice of these provisions. Employers may satisfy this notice provision by posting a notice in English and Spanish in a conspicuous place. Employers cannot retaliate or discriminate against employees who request or take any paid sick leave, including paid sick leave provided under company policy. Em­­ployees have the right to file complaints with the state labor commissioner. (P.L. 11-52, L. 2011)

Income tax withholding. Beginning July 1, 2011, successor employers that buy a predecessor’s business or stock of goods must withhold enough of the purchase price to cover the amount of taxes withheld, plus interest and penalties due at the time of the sale. Withholding from the purchase price isn’t necessary if the predecessor obtains a receipt from the commissioner showing that no amounts are due. Successors that fail to receive a receipt from the commissioner are not liable for any amounts that should have been withheld. Successors that fail to withhold will be personally liable for the amounts that should have been withheld.

Beginning July 1, 2011, employers that withhold taxes from nonpayroll amounts (e.g., pensions) may be required to remit payment electronically.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2011, the commissioner has six years to issue a notice of deficiency to employers and pass-through entities that omit 25% of the amount that should have been withheld. Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, the penalty for failing to remit electronically will be the lesser of $2,500 or 10% of the amount required to be remitted; the lesser of $10,000 or 10% for a second offense; and 10% for third and later offenses. (P.L. 11-61, L. 2011)

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