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Connecticut Legislature Expands Paid Sick Leave, Marking Major Victory for Domestic Workers and Other Excluded Workers in CT

The bill, HB5005/SB 7, heads now to Governor Ned Lamont’s desk, who has previously indicated support. 

HARTFORD – On Monday, May 6, the Connecticut legislature passed HB 5005 / SB 7, An Act Expanding Paid Sick Days in the State, which will guarantee 40 hours of paid sick leave per year to almost all workers in the state, including domestic workers, the nannies, house cleaners, and home care workers who have been historically left out of traditional workplace protections. 

The National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) released the following statement:

“The National Domestic Workers Alliance celebrates the passage of HB 5005 / SB 7 by the Connecticut legislature, a significant advancement in our ongoing efforts to secure rights and protections for domestic workers nationwide. This law, guaranteeing 40 hours of paid sick leave for almost all workers, marks another milestone following Connecticut’s enactment of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in 2015. It is a testament to the resilience and dedication of the community of advocates and workers who have tirelessly campaigned for these essential protections. As more policymakers recognize the critical contributions of domestic workers to our communities and economy, this law serves as a symbol of progress and a model for other states to follow. Together, we are building a future where all workers, especially those who care for our homes and families, are respected and safeguarded.”

The new law removes certain industry requirements in the prior sick leave law, meaning that nearly all workers in Connecticut will be covered regardless of the sector in which they work. The amended law increases the rate at which workers can accrue sick time (from one hour for every 40 hours worked to one hour for every 30 hours worked) and adds new coverage for public health emergency needs. The law phases in coverage of small employers (in 2025, the law will apply to employers with at least 25 employees; in 2026, the law will apply to employers with at least 11 employees; and in 2027 and thereafter, it will apply to all employers regardless of size).

This legislation also expands the definition of family to allow workers to take paid sick days to care for a child of any age, spouse, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, or parent. It extends access to Safe Days so workers can take care of a family member who experiences family violence, intimate partner violence, or sexual assault.

This bill was won thanks to longtime efforts by the CT Paid Sick Days Coalition, led by She Leads Justice and the CT Working Families Party. The CT Domestic Worker Justice Coalition (Comunidades Sin Fronteras, CT Worker Center, Naugatuck Valley Project, Unidad Latina en Acción, National Domestic Workers Alliance, and Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employer Network) also played a key role in the campaign and ensuring that domestic workers, who have historically been excluded from many workplace protections, would be covered by the new paid sick leave law. This bill will ensure that domestic workers, a majority of whom are women and caregivers to their own families, can take care of themselves and their loved ones through illness without risking losing their jobs. 

Additional Quotes from Domestic Workers and Advocates

“In June 2022, I lost my job because I got sick with COVID. I had to stay home because I was very sick. I felt that my employer did not value my work and I was discriminated against for being a domestic worker. And like my story, there are many similar ones from other domestic workers. We are still a marginalized sector, and our rights are violated every day. Now that this bill has passed, my family and I are very happy because we can care for our families without losing our income. The Paid Sick Days law dignifies us since we contribute to the economic development of this state.” – Alexandra R., nanny and a member of Unidad Latina en Accion CT

“We celebrate the passage of expanded paid sick days in CT that includes domestic workers! We see the struggle of domestic workers who have to choose between dealing with health issues and worrying about lost wages. The COVID pandemic taught us that domestic workers play an important role in our society, and they deserve to be treated equally like any other worker. This law now gives hope to our members who are house cleaners, nannies, and home care workers.” – Nelli Jara, Executive Director of Connecticut Worker Center

“The expansion of Connecticut’s paid sick days law to include domestic workers, and other vulnerable workers, will ensure they are not forced to choose between caring for themselves and providing for their families. The COVID-19 pandemic taught us about the threats to the economic security of domestic workers, as many, especially those providing home care or elder care, were considered essential workers but lacked paid sick days and other critical protections. This bill is an important step in ending the exclusion of domestic workers from these protections.” – Carmen Lanche, Executive Director of Comunidades Sin Fronteras

“Naugatuck Valley Project and our domestic worker members celebrate the passage of expanded Paid Sick Days. This bill will provide the necessary protection so workers can stay home if they are sick or need to take care of a family member. Thanks to everyone who worked hard to pass this legislation. In perseverance, unity, and hard work, there is strength and power.” – Karime Pimentel, organizer at Naugatuck Valley Project

“As a long-time domestic employer of a home-health attendant, I applaud the CT State legislators for passing a paid sick leave law that covers a majority of workers, including domestic workers. This is a critical step toward bringing dignity and respect to this essential workforce. Now all employers will have the necessary guidance in the law to provide this critical protection to workers who will no longer have to make the impossible choice to stay home sick without wages or work through illness. Employers of domestic workers are families, parents, and individuals whose homes also serve as workplaces, and it’s critical that they understand their responsibilities under the law.”    – Elizabeth Stern, member of Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employer Network.


National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA)
National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) is the leading voice for dignity and fairness for millions of domestic workers in the United States. Founded in 2007, NDWA works for respect, recognition and inclusion in labor protections for domestic workers, the majority of whom are immigrants and women of color. NDWA is powered by over 70 affiliate organizations and local chapters and by a growing membership base of nannies, house cleaners and care workers in over 20 states. Learn more at NDWA is a non-partisan non-profit organization that does not endorse, support, or oppose any candidates for public office.