March 13, 2019
Denver, CO – The Senate Business, Labor, and Technology Committee voted this afternoon 3-to-2 to advance SB19-188, FAMLI Family Medical Leave Insurance Program, a bill sponsored by Senators Faith Winter (D-Adams County) and Angela Williams (D-Denver) that would guarantee all Coloradans up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for themselves and their families. The bill now heads to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration.
Because most Coloradans don’t have paid leave to recover from a serious illness, care for a sick family member, or welcome the birth of a child, they are often forced to choose between work and family. With FAMLI, Coloradans would no longer have to make these hard choices.
“We’ve heard too many heartbreaking stories of Coloradans who can’t be at their dying parent’s bedside, who go back to work too soon after the birth of a child, or skip necessary medical treatments because they can’t afford to lose their paycheck,” said Senator Winter. “No one should have to make those decisions, and soon they won’t have to. After five years of working hard for paid family leave in Colorado, I am confident that it will become law this session.”
“Paid family leave is good for both Coloradan families and businesses. Coloradans will be able to take care of themselves and their families while businesses can save money by reducing turnover,” said Senator Williams. “With a paid family leave program in place, small businesses could more easily compete with large companies and Coloradans could be there for their families in times of need.”
The bill would create a division within the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment that would provide wage replacement for employees who worked at least 680 hours in the previous year when they take leave to care for a family member, to recover from a serious injury or illness, or to welcome a newborn or adopted child. The program would replace between 65 and 90 percent of the majority of worker wages, with lower-income Coloradans receiving a larger percentage of their wages. Employees would also be guaranteed their same or equivalent job when returning from leave, and would be protected from discrimination or retaliation from their employer.
For more information on SB19-188, please visit https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb19-188.