Under the Colorado Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program, new insurance obligations became effective on January 1, 2023, with employee benefits beginning January 1, 2024. What do Colorado businesses need to know about the new law? Pinion advisors have addressed the most frequently asked questions to help you prepare for these new paid family and medical leave insurance obligations.
Who does the Colorado Paid FAMLI program apply to?
The Colorado Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance program applies to most employers and employees in Colorado. Those who are self-employed are not required to participate but can opt-in.
The state will determine an employee’s eligibility when they apply. To be eligible for FAMLI, an employee must have earned $2,500 in Colorado during their base period. To be entitled to job protection and continuation of health care coverage, the employee must have worked for the employer for at least 180 days before taking leave.
What does the FAMLI program require of employers?
The program requires covered employers to allow employees to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected paid family and medical leave (funded by employer and employee payroll tax premiums), plus an additional four weeks for employees with a serious health condition related to pregnancy or childbirth complications (16 weeks total).
What are employers responsible for?
Employers are responsible for sending contributions to FAMLI. For 2023 and 2024, the contribution rate is 0.9% of each employee’s wages, up to the Social Security wage base (currently estimated to be $155,100 in 2023, which would be a max contribution of $1,395.90). If you have nine or fewer employees, then your employees pay half the contribution amount, and you pay nothing. If you have 10 or more employees, then you pay 50% and your employees pay 50% of the contribution.
What employee benefits are included in the FAMLI program?
Beginning January 1, 2024, FAMLI benefits include:
- Partial wage replacement
- Job protection
- Continuation of group health care coverage
How much leave can employees take?
Eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of FAMLI leave per year for family, medical, qualifying exigency, or safe leave. Employees can take an additional four weeks for pregnancy-related complications.
- Family leave is to care for a family member with a serious health condition or to bond with a new child.
- Medical leave is for the employee’s own serious health condition.
- Qualifying exigency leave is for making arrangements for a family member’s military deployment.
- Safe leave is for domestic violence or sexual assault.
If the employee’s FAMLI leave also qualifies for the Colorado Family Care Act or the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), then the leaves will run concurrently.
How do employers and employees contribute to FAMLI?
FAMLI is funded by payroll contributions and is administered by the FAMLI Division (part of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment). Employers do not pay the monetary benefits directly to employees.
What action is required of qualifying employers?
Qualifying Colorado businesses are required to provide immediate notice about FAMLI:
- By posting the notice in a prominent location at each worksite,
- To each employee upon hire, and
- To an employee when they learn that the employee might need leave for a covered reason.
Our Pinion team is here to support you through these changes. Connect with us for any questions or concerns about how this will impact your business. For more resources including FAQs, toolkits, videos, and other resources for employers, visit: famili.colorado.gove/employees.