Quarter 3 wage reports and premiums are due October 31, 2023. 


Individuals and Families FAQs

Who is eligible for FAMLI leave?

Most Colorado employees become eligible to take paid leave after they have earned at least $2,500 in wages within the State, over a period of a year. 

Will I be penalized or lose my job for taking leave?

No. FAMLI offers paid job protected leave once an employee has been at their employer for more than 180 days (about six months). The law also offers protection against retaliation. 

It's important to note that because the FAMLI Act allows local government employers to opt out of the program, employees of these local governments may not have the same job protections under the FAMLI Act. 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 FAMLI leave, but their 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. If you are an employee of an opted out local government, please connect with your Human Resources department to confirm your employer's leave policies. 

What sort of circumstances can I use my paid leave for?

Individuals can use FAMLI leave to take time away from work in order to:

  • Care for a new child, including adopted and fostered children
  • Care for themselves, if they have a serious health condition 
  • Care for a family member’s serious health condition
  • Make arrangements for a family member’s military deployment
  • Address the immediate safety needs and impact of domestic violence and/or sexual assault.
If I am expecting to have a baby in 2023, will I be eligible for FAMLI in 2024?

Yes. New parents are eligible to take FAMLI leave to bond with a new child anytime within the first 12 months after a birth, adoption or foster care placement. So those parents may have some weeks of eligibility in 2024 (when benefits become available) for a child who arrives in 2023, even if they use some employer-sponsored leave or unpaid FMLA leave in 2023 when the child first arrives.

One important thing to note: Colorado’s FAMLI Act was written to give local government employers the option to completely opt out of the program. If you work for a local government employer who has voted to opt out of FAMLI, you still have the option of voluntarily opting in by committing to pay premiums on 0.45% of your wages for three years. However, while employees of opted out local governments still have access to FAMLI benefit payments, your local government employer is not obligated to abide by the job protection and anti-retaliation provisions of section 509 of the FAMLI Act. So while the FAMLI Act would entitle employees of opted out local governments to take leave in 2024 regardless of what leave they might have used in 2023, the law won't protect those employees from termination or other discipline from the opted out local government employer. If you work for an opted out local government employer, please connect with your human resources department to confirm what their particular leave policies are. 

Read more on this topic in this blog post.

How much paid time off does FAMLI provide?

Most employees are eligible to receive up to twelve weeks of paid leave. Those who experience pregnancy or childbirth complications may receive an additional four weeks.

How will people learn about their benefits and the program?

Every Colorado employer, whether they are participating in FAMLI or not, is required to notify their employees of the FAMLI. The required program notice must be posted in a prominent location in the workplace as of January 1, 2023.The FAMLI Division began executing several outreach and education tactics in early 2022 for both employees and employers about the program which will continue through the duration of the program. Individuals and families can also sign up to receive updates directly from the Division. FAMLI will be launching a second public awareness campaign in late 2023 which will run through the Spring of 2024. 

How much will employees be required to pay?

Overall, FAMLI is a shared fee to employers and employees based on .9% of wages. This rate is set through 2025 by Proposition 118, voted in by 57% of Coloradans as the authorizing vote of the people to create the FAMLI enterprise fund. Use our premium calculator to estimate your wage deductions.

How do employees pay their portion of the benefit?

Most employees will see a FAMLI wage deduction on their pay stubs. However, some employers may choose to cover their employees’ portion as an added benefit. 

Will the rate change and when?

The rate is set at 0.9% for the first two years of the program. Past 2025 the rate will be set each year by the Division Director and is based on a formula based on the funds balance and usage rates. The amount is statutorily capped at 1.2% of wages. 

Can I opt out of the program?

No. The FAMLI Act does not allow employees to opt out of the program. Only local government employers have the ability to vote to opt out of the program. Employees of those opted out local governments have the option to voluntarily opt in. Self employed individuals have the option to voluntarily opt into the program, but don't need to take any action to opt out. The following circumstances may exempt employees from paying the employee-portion of the FAMLI deduction: 

  • Employees of the federal government cannot access the state benefit, and therefore will not see any FAMLI-related wage deductions on their pay stubs.
  • If an individual works for an employer who has chosen to cover their employees’ full portion of the contribution as an added work perk, the employee will not see any FAMLI-related wage deductions. 
  • If an individual works for a local government employer who has voted to opt out of the FAMLI program, the employee will not see any FAMLI-related wage deductions. 
  • Employers may apply to fulfill their FAMLI obligations by using a private plan that provides equal or great benefits as the FAMLI plan. Employers will be required to pay their FAMLI premiums until they receive approval from the Division to use their private plan.  Employees of those employers may not see any FAMLI-related wage deductions, but may see other deductions depending on how the employer funds its private program.
What if I am self-employed and do freelance or gig work?

Participation for self-employed workers is optional. If you do decide to opt into FAMLI as a self-employed worker, you must agree to participate by paying premiums and reporting your income for a minimum of three years in order to avoid only opting in only when the need for leave is foreseeable. There is no enrollment period for self-employed workers. You can opt in any time and apply for leave any time once benefits become available in 2024. No action is required until then.

Are FAMLI benefit payments subject to state and federal income tax?

FAMLI benefits are not subject to state income tax. However, the IRS has not made a clear decision as to whether or not FAMLI benefits are subject to federal income tax, and the FAMLI Division can’t advise individuals on their tax compliance. Therefore, we recommend that employees consult a tax professional for advice.  

The FAMLI Division will issue IRS form 1099-G to employees who received FAMLI benefit payments, and the benefits paid will be reported in Box 1, which is labeled “unemployment compensation.”  Per IRS instructions, this box is also used for governmental paid family leave programs.

What qualifies as a self-employed individual?

“Self-employed individual” as used in the FAMLI Act and its implementing regulations includes individuals who meet the FAMLI Act’s two-prong exception to the definition of “employee” at  C.R.S. 8-13.3-503(7) which states " (7) “Employee” means any individual, including a migratory laborer, performing labor or services for the benefit of another, irrespective of whether the common-law relationship of master and servant exists. For the purposes of this part 5, an individual primarily free from control and direction in the performance of the labor or services, both under the individual’s contract for the performance of the labor or services and in fact, and who is customarily engaged in an independent trade, occupation, profession, or business related to the labor or services performed is not an “employee.” 

Are military spouses exempt from paying FAMLI premiums under the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act?

Military spouses are not exempt from contributing to FAMLI because FAMLI premiums are considered a fee and not a tax. Thus the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act doesn’t grant an exemption.

Can I file a claim on behalf of someone else as a Designated Representative?

Yes, you can file on behalf of a family member if they're medically incapacitated, and/or you can file as a Designated Representative if you can prove with documentation that you are in fact a Designated Representative for the individual.