FAQs for Local Governments

In addition to these local government-specific FAQs, local government employers may also refer to FAQs for employers generally.

When can local governments vote on FAMLI participation?

Local governments can vote on their level of participation anytime during 2022, but are not required to notify the FAMLI Division of their decision until January 1, 2023. This vote does NOT need to take place before July 1, 2022.

Local governments which decline to fully participate in the FAMLI program must revisit this vote every 8 years at minimum.

Local governments must notify employees of their decision on FAMLI participation within 30 days after the deciding vote.

Should our local government register with the FAMLI Division even if we vote not to fully participate in FAMLI?

Yes. All Colorado local governments should register in FAMLI’s online employer service system once available. Registering with the system and uploading your documents will enable FAMLI to keep track of local governments’ participation decision and the obligation to revisit a declination vote after 8 years. Registering will also provide local governments which decline to fully participate but choose to facilitate payroll deductions for individually-participating employees with a way to submit wage reports and remit premium deductions.

What does our local government need to send to FAMLI?

The requirement may be fulfilled by a letter on letterhead and must indicate the date the vote was taken (this starts the 8 year clock), and declare which of the options outlined above the local government has chosen.

The letter with the date of the vote and the option the local government has chosen is the only information local governments need to submit to the FAMLI Division in 2022. The letter must be submitted after registration in FAMLI’s online employer service system.

What happens if a local government does not take a vote or send a letter?

If the FAMLI Division does not receive notice from the local government by January 2, 2023, it will assume the local government intends to fully participate in the FAMLI program as an employer, and will expect both wage data and premium payments due on April 1, 2023. You must notify the Division ahead of January 1, 2023 to avoid paying premiums.

Can local governments which choose to fully participate in FAMLI withdraw their participation?

Local governments which choose to fully participate in FAMLI, as well as local government employees who self-elect coverage, must remain in the program and pay premiums for a minimum of 3 years. If a local government wishes to withdraw from the FAMLI program at the end of the three-year period, it must provide a minimum of 90 days notice to the FAMLI Division to facilitate system changes and avoid overpayments and miscommunication.

180 days notice must be given to employees before any change regarding access to FAMLI benefits is effective. This gives employees time to make arrangements and self-select coverage if they wish to do so. Benefits do not become available until 2024, so this 180 day timeline does not apply in 2022 because there will be no change in FAMLI benefits starting in 2023.

Are elected officials counted in employment numbers?

If those elected officials are employees of the local government, they must be counted as an employee.

Who can conduct the vote?

The vote must be conducted by the local government’s governing body. Examples of a governing body include but are not limited to: public school boards, board of regents, board(s) of directors etc.

When does the vote to opt out need to take place?

No vote is required if the local government plans to participate in the program.An initial vote to opt out can be conducted at any point before January 1, 2023. This vote does NOT need to take place before July 1, 2022. For all subsequent votes, 180 days notice must be given to employees before any change regarding access to FAMLI benefits is effective. This will allow workers to make arrangements to self-select coverage, if they wish to do so. Benefits do not become available until 2024, so this 180 day timeline does not apply in 2022 because there will be no change in FAMLI benefits starting in 2023. No vote is required if the local government plans to participate in the program.

Is there an enrollment period for local government employees who want to opt in?

Local government employees who voluntarily want to self-select FAMLI coverage can do so at any time after their local government votes to opt out. There is no enrollment period. They will need to register with the FAMLI system after it deploys in the Fall of 2022 and will be responsible for remitting 0.45% of the premium and wage data every quarter. Upon voluntarily opting into the program, these individuals are required to commit to participate for at least three years to avoid opting in only when leave is foreseeable.

Is a local government who opts out of FAMLI, responsible for maintaining an employee’s health insurance while they are on FAMLI leave?

Local government employers which opt-out of the FAMLI program are not required to maintain health insurance benefits during FAMLI leave for their employees who opt-in to the program. See C.R.S. 8-13.3-509(8). However, while the FAMLI Act does not require a local government employer to maintain benefits in this situation, the terms of your specific benefits policies and/or other laws or regulations may require benefits to be maintained during paid family and medical leave.

If a local government employer votes to opt-out of FAMLI, and an employee voluntarily opts-in, will this employee have job protection under FAMLI?

The job of an employee who voluntarily opts-in after their local government opts out would NOT be protected under the FAMLI program. The employee would still be eligible to take the leave, but his/her job would not be protected, since the employer has opted out. HOWEVER, the employee’s leave may be protected under FMLA if the employer is already covered by FMLA.