FAMLI affects Colorado local government employers differently than private businesses. The statute was written to give local governments options to participate. Local government employers have until March 31, 2023, to conduct a vote to opt out of FAMLI. If a local government votes to opt out between April 1 and June 30, 2023, they will still owe FAMLI premiums for Q1 2023.
Steps for local government employers to follow:
- Complete the vote by March 31, 2023
- Document the outcome of the vote and the date the vote was taken on official letterhead
- Register the local government in MyFAMLI+ Employer
- Upload the decision letter to My FAMLI+ Employer before the first premium payment is due
The FAMLI Division will review your decision letter after you upload it to My FAMLI+ Employer. The Division will send a notice after they have reviewed your letter.
All local governments must register with the Division in My FAMLI+ Employer even if they have voted to opt out. Employees of local governments who have opted out do not need to take any action to self-elect FAMLI coverage until benefits become available in 2024.
If your local government works with a third party administrator (TPA) or an attorney who would like to register and opt out on your behalf here some things to know:
- Attorneys or TPAs 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, as if they are the local government. They should 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.
- TPAs can manually register the local government from their dashboard but should select "no" for the question "Are you a TPA registering on behalf of this organization?" In the system, this will recognize the business as their own, as opposed to a client account. This will give the account the functionality to upload the required opt out letter.
Options for Local Government Employers
Local government employers have three options when it comes to participating in FAMLI:
Local governments can:
- Participate in FAMLI
- Decline ALL participation
- Decline EMPLOYER Participation
- This option means that the Local Government has decided to participate, no vote is required.
- Just like private employers, local governments which choose to fully participate in FAMLI, will share responsibility for funding the program with their employees. FAMLI premiums are set to 0.9% of the employee’s wage, with 0.45% paid by the local government and 0.45% paid by the employee. Local governments may also elect to pay some or all of the employee share if they choose to offer this as an added perk for their employees.
- The local government must register in the FAMLI system and create an account like any typical private sector employer.
- Local governments which decide to participate in FAMLI will begin deducting FAMLI premiums from its employees on January 1, 2023. Initial premium payments for Q1 of 2023 will be due on April 30, 2023, with a 30-day grace period.
- The local government’s governing body must vote to decline all participation.
- The local government must register in the FAMLI system to notify the FAMLI Division of their vote to decline participation.
- Employees still have the option of self-selecting FAMLI coverage if their local government employer votes to opt out.
- Employees who voluntarily want to participate do not need to take any action until benefits become available in 2024 at which time they can self-elect coverage. These employees can then register in the FAMLI system like an independent contractor in order to report their wage data and pay their quarterly premiums.
- Local government employers who vote to decline participation in the FAMLI program are not required to have an equivalent paid leave plan in place.
- The vote to opt out of FAMLI must be revisited every eight years.
- This option allows a local government agency to decline to pay the employer share of the premium, while still supporting employees who want to participate by voluntarily deducting and remitting the employee share of the premium (0.45% of wages) and corresponding wage data to the Division every quarter.
- This allows employees to voluntarily opt into the program without having to worry about the administrative burden of remitting their own premiums and wage data every quarter.
- The local government’s governing body must still vote to opt out of paying the employer premium and must still register and notify the Division of their decision.
Options for Employees of Opted-Out Local Governments
Local government employees whose employers have opted out can still access FAMLI benefits! They have until 2024 to decide whether to participate on their own: no action is required to self-elect FAMLI coverage until benefits become available in 2024. Here are your options when your employer opts out:
I don’t want the FAMLI Benefit
- As an employee you do not have to do anything if you do not want to participate in the FAMLI program.
I do want the FAMLI benefit: What do I need to do?
- Even if your local government employer has voted to opt out of FAMLI, you still have the right to self-elect coverage.
- You will need to register with the FAMLI Division in My FAMLI+ Employer as an employee of an opted-out Local Government Employer in order to submit your wage reports and pay your FAMLI premiums.
- Your premiums will be 0.45% of your wages. Your first payment will be due April 30, 2024.
- When you self-elect FAMLI coverage, you must commit to participating in the program by filing wage data and submitting premium payments for three years.
- While there is no open enrollment period, you will need one quarter of coverage before you can file a claim. You may elect a retroactive coverage period, so you can file a claim for FAMLI leave as early asJanuary 2024. More guidance on how to self-elect coverage and how to file a claim will be available in late 2023.