Who: Colorado employers
When: Effective January 1, 2023
Colorado voters passed Proposition 118 in November 2020, which created the Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Program. Starting on January 1, 2023, Colorado employers must collect a percentage of employees’ wages to fund the new state-run Colorado Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Program. Employers with 10 or more employees must also contribute to the fund. Employers that have less than 10 employees are not required to pay the employer share of the premiums. Self-employed individuals are also eligible to participate.
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment released the final regulations on benefits for the FAMLI program on August 26, 2022, which detail how to qualify for leave, length of leave, how to apply, and employee notice requirements. Employers who provide a private plan that provides benefits equal to or greater than the state’s program are exempt from remitting the premium to the state.
Beginning January 1, 2024, eligible employees will be entitled to take 12 weeks of paid FAMLI leave for the following reasons:
- To care for the employee’s serious health condition;
- To care for the employee’s family member’s serious health condition;
- To care for a new child during the first year after the child’s birth, adoption, or placement;
- To take “qualifying exigency leave” (related to the employee’s family member’s military deployment);
- To take “safe leave” (when the employee or employee’s family member is the victim of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault, or abuse); and
- To attend to complications with pregnancy or childbirth (which comes with an additional 4 weeks of paid leave, for a total of 16 weeks).
The term “family member” includes a child (whether biological, adopted, a stepchild, a child of a domestic partner, or a child to whom the individual stands in loco parentis), parent, spouse or domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling of the employee or the employee’s spouse or domestic partner, plus any other individual with whom the employee has a significant personal bond that is like a family relationship.
Employees are eligible for benefits once they have earned $2,500 in Colorado wages from any combination of employers in the preceding year. This is different than the FMLA eligibility threshold of 12 months of employment. Self-employed individuals are eligible if they live and work in Colorado and opt into the coverage.
For employers with 10 or more employees, the premium is equal to 0.9% of the employee’s wages, with employer and employee each paying 0.45% of wages—though the employer can choose to cover some or all of the employee portion. For employers with fewer than 10 employees, the premium is solely the employee’s share: 0.45%. The wage base for premiums is capped at the Social Security wage base.
The FAMLI Division will adjust premiums each year based on contributions and cost of administration, up to a cap of 1.2% of wages. In general, wages are subject to the premium if the employee performs most or all of the services in Colorado. The law details other circumstances under which wages are subject to the premium. Premiums are due quarterly by the last day of the month immediately following the end of the quarter. The FAMLI Division will collect wage reports from employers and use those in part to determine premiums due.
FAMLI leave is job-protected leave, and the law contains an anti-retaliation provision that protects employees who exercise their rights under the law.
All Colorado employers must register with My FAMLI+, the state-run FAMLI portal, even if they intend to apply for an exemption. Employers must post the Colorado 2023 FAMLI Program Notice by January 1, 2023.
- Decide if you will participate in the state’s program or adopt a private plan.
- Register with the My FAMLI+ employer service portal before January 1, 2023.
- Notify employees that the deductions will begin January 1, 2023, and benefit availability begins January 1, 2024.
- Budget for your estimated premium liability.
- Monitor the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment website for additional guidance.
- Post the required Colorado 2023 FAMLI Program Notice by January 1, 2023.
- Provide notice to new employees upon hire.
- Update your employee handbooks.
- Ensure payroll is set up properly for FAMLI deductions.
FAMLI Webinar Series: Private Plans Part 1
Colorado 2023 FAMLI Program Notice Poster English
Colorado 2023 FAMLI Program Notice Poster Spanish
Colorado FAMLI Toolkit for Employers Website
Colorado 2023 FAMLI Employee Handbook
My FAMLI+ Employer Registration
FAMLI Premiums and Benefits Estimator