On July 1, Connecticut became the first state in the country to require that companies provide hourly workers with paid sick leave.The law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2012, requires that employers with 50 or more hourly workers grant those workers one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours. Sick days will be capped at five sick days, or 40 hours, a year. Manufacturing companies, temporary workers, day laborers, and independent contractors are exempt.Sick days may be taken for a worker’s illness, injury, or health condition; for illness or medical diagnosis of a child or spouse; or when the worker is the victim of family violence or sexual assault. The bill also bars employers from taking retaliatory or discriminatory action against an employee who requests or uses paid sick leave. Similar requirements also exist in San Francisco and Washington, D.C.