October 28, 2022

Colorado’s New FAMLI Program Takes Effect January 1, 2023

Approved November 2020, Colorado’s Prop 118 has laid the groundwork for implementation of the state’s paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program. Set to take effect January 1, 2023[i], the FAMLI will significantly impact Colorado employers’ responsibilities when it comes to leave compliance.

The new program will be funded through employer and employee payroll tax contributions and will operate similar to Colorado’s unemployment insurance program. The program will be administered by the newly created Division of Family and Medical Leave Insurance under the CO Department of Labor.  

Qualified employers are those:

  • Employing at least one employee in Colorado; or
  • Who paid wages of $1,500 during a calendar quarter.

Employers with fewer than 10 employees will not be required to pay the employer share of the requisite premium but will collect and administrate only the employee’s share.

The program offers eligible employees up to twelve weeks of leave; those experiencing pregnancy or childbirth complications may receive an additional four weeks. 

The term “family member” is defined broadly under the FAMLI with leave being allowed for reasons closely related to federal Family and Medical Leave Act provisions with the exception of a “safe leave” provision allowing leave to obtain civil protection orders, receive medical or mental health care for themselves or a family member, secure their home from a perpetrator, or seek legal assistance for domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, or abuse-related issues.

Employers with existing paid leave programs offering benefits equal to or more generous than benefits provided by the FAMLI may apply for an exemption. Employers may begin applying for exemptions in November 2022, but no later than October 31, 2023, for a plan with an effective date of January 1, 2024.

With premium collection scheduled to start January 1, 2023, Colorado employers should review the FAMLI-specific FAQs for employers located on the FAMLI website. The website provides detailed information on the program as well as employer toolkits and free webinars.

[i] FAMLI will begin providing benefits to employees starting January 1, 2024.