In a case of first impression, a Connecticut Superior Court has held that Connecticut’s Family and Medical Leave Act (“CFMLA”) applies to Connecticut employers with 75 or more employees anywhere in the nation, not just in Connecticut.

The court ruled that in determining whether an employer satisfies the CFMLA’s 75-employee threshold, the Department of Labor must consider the employer’s entire workforce—including all the employer’s out-of-state employees with no connection to Connecticut. The court reversed the Connecticut Department of Labor’s historical view that the CFMLA applied only to employers that employed 75 or more employees within the geographical boundaries of the state.

This decision is important because it may extend CFMLA obligations to employers that were previously not subject to either the Connecticut or federal FMLA. An employer with operations in Connecticut but fewer than 75 employees within the state will have to extend CFMLA coverage to its Connecticut employees if it has a total of 75 employees in any geographic location or state.

According to the Connecticut Department of Labor this case has been appealed but, as always, that will take time. In the meantime, the Connecticut DOL has stated that it will put on hold any charges filed with the state in which the charging party’s eligibility for CFMLA coverage turns on the application or non-application of this case.

Velez v. Mayfield et al., Superior Court, Judicial District of New Britain, Docket No. CV 08 4017925S (May 14, 2010, Cohn, J.).

For a more detailed discussion of the case and its possible ramifications to employers, you can visit the Connecticut Employment Law Blog.

Questions about your FMLA program? Contact Reed Group.