Colorado’s FAMLI Act

Lindsey Brown

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In January 2024, the Colorado Paid Family And Medical Insurance (“FAMLI”) Act went into effect. It was approved by voters in 2020 and provides for up to 12 weeks of paid leave for Colorado employees who qualify. FAMLI benefits apply to those seeking parental leave, medical leave for yourself, medical leave to care for a family member, military family leave, and leave for those who have experienced domestic violence.

Previously, the only type of leave available for these types of life events was through the federally administered Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). While FMLA guarantees job protection (meaning you can’t be fired for taking FMLA leave), it does not offer any type of income assistance. Additionally, FMLA is only available for employees of companies with greater than 50 employees.

The FAMLI Act covers employees of any size company[1] and also applies to those who are self-employed and opt in to the premium payments. FAMLI also offers job security (provided you have been with your employer for at least 180 days) and provides a maximum weekly benefit of $1,100. One perk of FAMLI leave is its flexibility. Under the FAMLI Act, you can take continuous leave for up to 12 weeks, continue working but on a reduced schedule, or use your leave days intermittently. The FAMLI Act also prevents employers from retaliating or discriminating against employees who have taken FAMLI leave.

Employees interested in taking FAMLI leave must apply by filing a claim through the online portal, and the Colorado FAMLI Division will determine eligibility and benefits for each claim. Employers should also take note of the new laws and incorporate them into their policies and procedures. Penalties for employers who are noncompliant include not only actual damages to the employee, but also potential liquidated damages, equitable relief, and attorneys’ fees and costs.

Whether you’re an employer looking to better understand the new laws, or an employee seeking leave, the experience and dedicated employment law team at Milgrom & Daskam is here to help.

[1] Note that local government employers have the option to completely opt out of FAMLI. If you are an employee of a local government office you can still “opt in” to FAMLI benefits

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

PARTNER

Lindsey is a litigation partner and mom to her one-and-a-half-year-old daughter. Lindsey is proud to work at Milgrom & Daskam, where being a parent and an attorney is celebrated and encouraged. Milgrom & Daskam works to support its working parents by fostering dialogue and understanding.

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