FAQs for Local Governments

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

 

Under the FAMLI Act, a Local Government is any county, city and county, city, or town, whether home rule or statutory, or any school district, special district, authority, or other political subdivision of the state. Charter Schools are considered Local Governments under the FAMLI Act. Any government entity with at least one employee in the State Personnel System is NOT considered a Local Government under the FAMLI Act. Any government entity for which the state prepaid premiums under 2022 law (HB22-1133) is NOT a local government. References: §29-1-304.5(3)(b) C.R.S., C.R.S. 8-13.3-518(4)(b)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The FAMLI Act's definition of "employee" includes a two-prong exception. If a person is both primarily free from control in the performance of their work, and that work is part of their independent profession or trade, then that person is not considered an employee under the FAMLI Act. Elected officials will generally satisfy this two-prong exception and should not be counted as employees, and payments made to them for their services will not be subject to premiums.

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.

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.

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 and once benefits become available in 2024. Therefore, no action is required to self-elect FAMLI coverage until benefits become available in 2024. There is no enrollment period. They will need to register with the FAMLI system 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. 

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.

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.

Yes, P-12 Charter Schools are considered local governments within FAMLI’s local government rules. Therefore, Charter Schools have the option to either opt out fully, collect and submit only the employee share of the premium for employees who voluntarily opt in, or participate in the program as any other private employer. The Charter School’s governing body would need to conduct a vote in order to opt out.

Local governments without employees are not "local government employers" and will not be required to register with the FAMLI Division. However, as is the case for other CDLE divisions that enforce laws extending benefits and protections to employees, the Division may investigate claims that an employer has misclassified one or more employees as independent contractors.