Currently awaiting the signature of Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, the state’s new law mandating paid sick leave for most public and private employees will be the first of its kind in the nation.

The legislation, Public Act 11-52, which was passed on June 3, doesn’t go into effect until Jan. 1, 2012, but may well present challenges to employers looking to ensure compliance. The law does, however, offer safe harbor for covered employers that already offer similar types of paid sick leave, but establishes some ground rules here as well.

According to the new law, paid sick leave legislation applies to both public and private employers (save nationally chartered non-profits and manufacturers) with 50 or more employers in the state. Employers fitting these criteria must provide workers with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year for absences due to: illness; injury; health conditions; preventive care or treatment for the worker or their child or spouse; and family violence or sexual assault. Additionally, employers are now prevented from discriminating against employees who request or use their paid sick leave.

For more in-depth information about the law and how it affects employers, read this briefing from Jackson Lewis LLP.