In addition to these local government-specific FAQs, local government employers may also refer to FAQs for employers generally.
- What organizations are considered local governments under FAMLI?
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)
- When can local governments vote on FAMLI participation?
Local governments can take their initial vote on their level of participation on or before March 31, 2023 in order to avoid being responsible for FAMLI premiums for Q1 of 2023. If a local government votes to opt out between April 1 and June 30, 2023, the local government would still owe us premiums for Q1 of 2023, but would not owe premiums for Q2 of 2023 and beyond. After voting to opt out, local governments must still register in My FAMLI+ Employer and upload their opt out letters in order to notify their Division of their decision.
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.
- I am a TPA and/or an attorney representing a local government. Can I register a local government that has voted to opt out and upload their documents on their behalf?
Yes. When you login to your TPA account, manually register the local government as you would other clients. However, when asked "Are you a TPA registering on behalf of this organization?" select “No.” This will give you the functionality to upload the local government's opt out letter.
Attorneys who represent local governments who have voted to opt out should register as if they are the company administrator of the local government in order to opt out for them. Attorneys will follow the User Guide for Local Governments and start a new registration. They should also select "No" to answer the question "Are you a TPA registering on behalf of this organization?" In the system, this will recognize the organization as their own, as opposed to a client account. This will give the account the functionality to upload the required opt out letter.
- 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 March 31, 2023, the local government will be responsible for both wage data and premium payments for Q1 2023 which are due on April 1, 2023. You must notify the Division ahead of March 31, 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?
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.
- 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 on or before March 31, 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 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.
- 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.
- Are Charter Schools considered local governments under FAMLI?
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.
- What about local governments, like special districts, that do not have any employees? Are these local governments still required to register with the FAMLI Division?
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.