Colorado Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program (FAMLI)

HR is Vital for Small Businesses
March 4, 2022

Introducing the Colorado Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program (FAMLI)

by: Kelly & Vanessa, HR Department, Atlas Services   August 24, 2022

The FAMLI program will ensure all Colorado workers have access to paid leave in order to take care of themselves or their family during life circumstances that pull them away from their jobs — like growing their family or taking care of a loved one with a serious health condition.

How does FAMLI work?

Beginning on January 1, 2024, nearly every Colorado worker who earns at least $2,500 in yearly wages within the state will be eligible to take paid family and medical leave during covered circumstances:

  • To care for a new child, including adopted and fostered children
  • To care for themselves, if they have a serious health condition
  • To care for a family member with a serious health condition
  • To make arrangements for a family member’s military deployment
  • To address the immediate safety needs and impact of domestic violence and/or sexual assault.

Most workers are eligible to receive up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave. Those who experience pregnancy or childbirth complications may receive an additional four weeks.

The leave benefit is “portable” and is not dependent on the amount of time worked for a specific employer or the size of the company.

Once an employee has served in the job for at least 180 days (about six months), the job is protected under the law. If the employee is eligible and qualifies to use paid leave, the employer cannot prevent the employee from taking it, and cannot penalize or fire them for taking paid leave.

What are the Employer Responsibilities?

  • Employers and their employees are both responsible for funding the program and may split the cost 50/50. The premiums are set to 0.9% of the employee’s wage, with .45% paid by the employer and .45% paid by the employee.
  • Employers may also elect to pay the full amount if they choose to offer this as an added perk for their employees.
  • Employers with nine or fewer employees do not have to contribute to the program, but do need to remit their employees’ share (.45%) of premium payments on behalf each quarter. This can be done through a simple payroll deduction.
  • Employers who offer their own paid leave program may apply for an exemption.

What are the Employer Benefits?

Easy to administer — FAMLI will largely work in the same way and on the same schedule as the Unemployment Insurance system (funded by premiums)

Cost-effective — Businesses with 9 or fewer employees won’t have to pay employer premiums for FAMLI (the only cost is administrative overhead)

Potential cost savings — Businesses currently paying out-of-pocket to provide maternity leave or other paid family leave may be able to realize cost savings

More competitive — Paid family leave is a benefit workers want, and being able to provide it cost-effectively will allow Colorado’s small businesses to better compete for top talent with employers nationwide

How Your Business Can Prepare for FAMLI

Estimate your Premium Liability – Use the calculator on the FAMLI website, or for multiple employees, use the set formula and rate to create a spreadsheet that works for your business needs.

Consider Your Plan Options – While markets for private plans are not yet available and details on self-insured options are still forthcoming, you should plan conversations with your insurance brokers and financial planners.

Update Your HR Manual – Beginning in Fall 2022, you will want to begin incorporating language into employee manuals regarding premium deductions. Beginning in Fall 2023, you will want to adopt clear guidance and communications to employees around FAMLI benefits.

Be Ready to Collect Premiums – If you use a payroll company, or if you process payroll yourself, you will need a plan to both have the FAMLI premiums deducted and submitted to CDLE beginning January 1, 2023.

More information on Colorado’s FAMLI program can be found at https://famli.colorado.gov/

Atlas Services is monitoring for updates.  If interested in possibly outsourcing support for your human resources department.  Reach out to us today to learn more.

Want more information? Call/Text Amber Peoples at 720-577-4920 or email at amber.peoples@atlasadminservices.com or schedule a Zoom meeting.

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