Colorado voters passed Proposition 118 as the result of a statewide ballot initiative in November 2020 to create a state-run paid family and medical leave insurance program (FAMLI). This insurance program will be funded by employers and employees paying premiums into a state fund to pay out leave benefits for eligible individuals. Premiums will begin to be collected January 1, 2023, with paid benefits to begin the following year on January 1, 2024.
Under the FAMLI program, employers are required to pay at least 50% of the premium with the employees paying the remaining 50%. Initially the premiums are set at 0.9% of wages (until 2025); with the premiums potentially increasing up to 1.2% of employee’s wages beginning in 2025. The amount of paid leave benefits an employee may receive is dependent on your wages, and is currently capped at $1,100/week.
As a part of this law, local government employers such as Gilpin County have the option to decline to participate in the FAMLI program. Generally, the option to decline is considered due to concerns of unnecessarily burdening the employee and employer with additional costs when the organization has more robust paid leave programs already in place.
If the County decides to decline participation in the FAMLI Program, individual employees can still elect to participate in the program and would be responsible for 50% of the premium. If the County decides to become a participating employer, all employees are required to participate and will be assessed 50% of the premium.
During the upcoming Meeting on December 6, 2022, the Board of County Commissioners will be hearing public comment and voting on a resolution deciding whether to participate or decline participation in the FAMLI Program. Gilpin County will accept both oral and written public comments on this matter. Employees who would like to provide in-person comment during the December 6, 2022 meeting may do so by attending the meeting at 9:30AM. Additionally, employees may provide written comments to the Board of County Commissioners by emailing email@example.com before 5:00PM. on December 2nd. All emails will be provided to the Board prior to the Meeting and will become part of the record.
Notice of the Board of County Commissioner’s decision on this matter will be provided to all employees following the December 6, 2022 Board of County Commissioners Meeting.
For additional information on the FAMLI program, please review the following pages, contact Human Resources, visit the Division of Family and Medical Leave Insurance website, or email CDLE_FAMLI_info@state.co.us.
BRIEF OVERVIEW OF PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE INSURANCE ACT (FAMLI)
OPTIONS FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYERS:
- Participate in FAMLI
- Local governments which decide to participate in FAMLI will begin deducting premiums from its employees on January 1, 2023. Benefits begin one year later, starting January 1, 2024.
- Decline ALL participation
- The local government’s governing body must vote to decline all participation.
- Employees still have the option of self-selecting FAMLI coverage if their local government employer votes to opt out.
- Local government employers who vote to decline participation in the FAMLI program are not required to have an equivalent paid leave plan in place.
- The vote to opt out of FAMLI must be revisited every eight years.
- Employees who voluntarily want to participate do not need to take any action until benefits become available in 2024 at which time, they can self-elect coverage. These employees can then register in the FAMLI system like an independent contractor in order to report their wage data and pay their quarterly premiums.
- Decline EMPLOYER Participation
- This option allows a local government agency to decline to pay the employer share of the premium, while still supporting employees who want to participate by voluntarily deducting and remitting the employee share of the premium (0.45% of wages) and corresponding wage data to the Division every quarter.
- This allows employees to voluntarily opt into the program without having to worry about the administrative burden of remitting their own premiums and wage data every quarter.
- The local government’s governing body must still vote to opt out of paying the employer premium and must still register and notify the Division of their decision.
OPTIONS FOR EMPLOYEES OF OPTED-OUT LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
Local government employees whose employers have opted out can still access FAMLI benefits! They have until 2024 to decide whether to participate on their own: no action is required to self-elect FAMLI coverage until benefits become available in 2024. Here are your options when your employer opts out:
- I don’t want the FAMLI Benefit
- As an employee you do not have to do anything if you do not want to participate in the FAMLI program.
- I do want the FAMLI benefit: What do I need to do?
- Because FAMLI benefits don’t become available until 2024, you do not need to take any action until you can self-elect coverage in 2024. At that time, you will need to register with the FAMLI Division as an employee of an opted-out Local Government Employer in order to submit your wage reports and pay your FAMLI premiums.
- Your premiums will be 0.45% of your wages (employee portion).
- When you self-elect FAMLI coverage, you must commit to participating in the program by filing wage data and submitting premium payments for three years.
- You will be eligible to file for a claim for FAMLI leave as of January 2024. More guidance on how to self-elect coverage and how to file a claim will be published here in late 2023.
WHAT COULD I EXPECT TO PAY AND RECEIVE:
- FAMLI Premiums and Benefits can be estimated on the State of Colorado website at:
HOW MUCH PAID TIME OFF DOES FAMLI PROVIDE?
- Most covered individuals are paid up to 12 weeks of paid leave. Those who experience pregnancy or childbirth complications may receive an additional four weeks.
WHAT CAN I USE FAMLI PAID LEAVE FOR?
- Covered individuals can use FAMLI leave to take time away from work in order to:
- Care for a new child, including adoption and foster children
- Care of themselves, if they have a serious health condition
- Care for a family member with a serious health condition
- Make arrangements for a family member’s military deployment
- Address the immediate safety needs and impact of domestic violence, stalking and/or sexual assault or abuse.