The federal Family and Medical Leave Act has seen its fair share of changes in recent years. In early 2009 major changes were made to the FMLA’s implementing regulations, and in both 2008 and 2009, new military family leave entitlements were added to the text of the FMLA, the latter of which were codified in a new set of implementing regulations which became effective in March 2013. These changes – especially adoption of the 2009 regulations which were the first substantive changes to the FMLA regulations in 13 years – were well publicized.

However, another “federal” FMLA development has more or less sneaked in under the radar recently. In May 2012, the General Assembly passed, and Gov. Dannel Malloy signed, Public Act 12-43 (now codified in Connecticut General Statutes § 31-51rr.), which is legislation that lowers the hours-worked eligibility requirement for Connecticut school paraprofessionals for benefits under the federal FMLA. The state FMLA does not apply to public school employees and boards of education, but the federal FMLA applies to any “public agency” as defined in section 3(x) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. § 203(x)).

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