Colorado’s FAMLI (family and medical leave insurance) bill, SB19-188, is scheduled for hearing on March 13 at the State Capitol.
The bill would create the family and medical leave insurance program and a corresponding division in the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to provide partial wage replacement benefits to an eligible individual who takes leave from work:
- To care for a new child or a family member with a serious health condition;
- Because the eligible individual is unable to work due to the individual’s own serious health condition or because the individual or a family member is the victim of abusive behavior;
- Due to certain needs arising from a family member’s active duty service.
Premiums from both employees and employers would pay for the program.
Business groups have a variety of concerns with the bill in its current state, including its failure to align with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which could result in “stacking” of leave, or taking 12 weeks of leave under FAMLI and then another 12 weeks under FMLA. Another major concern is the bill’s applicability to employers of all sizes, unlike FMLA, where a covered employer employs “50 or more employees for each working day during each of 20 or more calendar workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year.”
If the bill passes, Colorado will join California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York, Washington, and D.C. in providing family leave. Similar laws are expected to pass elsewhere.
Because of the importance of this issue to Colorado employers, Employers Council will follow this story closely.