Family Medical Leave Insurance Legislation

On April 23, 2019, SB19-188 the Family Medical Leave Insurance Program (FAMLI) was heard for the second time on the Senate Floor. This Bill will have a significant impact on Colorado businesses. The Bill creates the Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Program and the Division of Family and Medical Leave Insurance in the Department of Labor and Employment to provide partial wage replacement benefits to an eligible individual who takes leave from work:

  • To care for a new child or a family member with a serious health condition;
  • Because the eligible individual is unable to work due to the individual's own serious health condition or because the individual or a family member is the victim of abusive behavior; or
  • Due to certain needs arising from a family member's active duty service.

Each employee will pay 40% of a premium and the employer will pay 60% the cost of a premium as specified in the Bill. The premium will be based . . .

on a percentage of the employee's yearly wages. The premiums are deposited into the family and medical leave insurance fund, and family and medical leave benefits are paid to eligible individuals from the fund.

There have been several amendments made to the original Bill and CNGA is pushing for more. We have significant concerns about how this process will work with seasonal employees. This letter was sent to twelve legislators expressing our concerns, particularly about H-2A and H-2B workers. We do know that the letter got the attention of the President of the Senate, Leroy Garcia, and Senate Majority Leader, Stephen Fenberg, as they have reached out for more information to Jay Hicks of Hicks & Associates, GreenCO & CNGA’s lobbyist. Our hope is that seasonal workers will be exempt from this program.

While we are confident this bill will pass, we are working quickly and diligently to lessen the burden to our industry and member companies. We will continue to provide updates as this piece of legislation moves through the process. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Allison Gault  or 303.758.6672.

About the Author: Allison Gault, CAE, is the Executive Director of the Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association. 


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