Little-known Connecticut law allows students to take paid sick leave

Book Worms Cafe in Homer Babbidge Library is one of the workplaces on campus to which the law applies. (Rebecca Newman/Daily Campus)

A rarely known Connecticut law makes it possible for student workers to gain, and use, sick pay.

Connecticut Public Act 11-52 reads, “a service worker shall be entitled to the use of accrued paid sick leave upon the completion of the service worker’s six-hundred-eightieth hour of employment from January 1, 2012, if the service worker was hired prior to January 1, 2012, or if hired after January 1, 2012.”

In other words, all employees of the university, including student workers, gain sick time after they have worked 680 hours. These hours do not have to be consecutive, according to the university’s payroll website.

This law has been in effect since 2012, with its usage and awareness increasing every year. 

According to university spokesperson Stephanie Reitz, there were 2,545 instances of sick time taken by student employees in 2015, equaling 11,345 hours. This was an increase from the 2,279 instances of sick time taken in 2014, equaling 10,462 hours. So far in 2016, there have only been 271 instances.

“The low numbers in 2016 are attributable to the fact that we’re still very early in the calendar year,” Reitz said in an email.

Students are notified of their eligibility through an email from the university. Once eligible they earn one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours of work. 

The email also lists some of the limitations of these hours, such as the fact that these hours can only be used for medical reasons, and can only be used for previously scheduled hours.

Students can gain up to 40 hours of sick time a year, and carry-over up to 40 hours of unused sick time into the following year. Sick hours cannot be traded in for compensation, according to the university payroll’s website. 

“Under no circumstances will any unused sick time be paid upon separation of employment from the University,” the payroll website read.


Sarah McNeal is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at sarah.mcneal@uconn.edu.