“Everybody” Did Not Benefit From Connecticut’s Paid Sick Leave Law

A new study released by the Employment Policies Institute, authored by Dr. Thomas Ahn of the University of Kentucky, finds that Connecticut’s paid sick leave law hasn’t delivered on its proponents’ promise that “everybody benefits.” Instead, the evidence from Connecticut suggests that the mandate actually reduced work hours for young adults and correspondingly slashed their take-home pay.

Dr. Ahn found that employees in Connecticut aged 20-34 saw a 24-hour reduction in annual hours worked. For a part-time employee in the service industry, that’s roughly one lost week of work per year. In real dollars and cents, part-time entry level workers lost $850 per year in annual income (3.5 fewer pre-tax paychecks).


These results are unfortunate, but not unexpected. Back when the mandate first went into effect in 2012, an Employment Policies Institute survey found that roughly one-third of the 86 surveyed businesses had reduced other employee benefits to account for the law’s costs, one-fifth had raised prices, and a similar number had reduced hours or staffing levels to accommodate the increased costs of paid sick leave.