Coloradans with disabilities play an essential role in the State’s workforce – and as Colorado celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October, the State is preparing to launch another tool to keep disabled workers on the job through paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI).
Colorado’s FAMLI program, which is poised to make benefits available in January 2024, promises to help keep workers with disabilities and their relatives in the workforce. That’s because giving workers the ability to step away momentarily to care for themselves or a loved one helps more than one in four American families that include at least one child, adult or senior with a disability, according to the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality.
Workers with disabilities not only contribute to the overall economy, they play a crucial role in Colorado’s economic success. Here are some points to consider about how FAMLI will help Coloradans and their families thrive in the workforce:
- Workers with disabilities are more likely to be in part-time, low-wage jobs that don’t offer paid time off benefits already, according to that Georgetown study.
- Six in 10 unpaid caregivers report experiencing impacts at work as a result of caregiving, such as cutting back on their working hours, taking a leave of absence, or receiving a warning about performance or attendance, according to a 2015 study by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP.
- People who live with at least one other household member with a disability experience lower labor force participation rates and are more likely to be working part-time than their counterparts who have no additional household members with disabilities, according to the Georgetown study.
- Despite the assumption that people with disabilities are only recipients of care, not providers of care, some 29% of workers who may have a disability are also caring for one or more children under the age of 18, according to a 2020 survey by the Center for American Progress.
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment is proud to celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month and to increase public awareness about the untapped talent resource that exists in people with disabilities. FAMLI is certain to help that untapped talent resource stay in the workforce and show employers how much they have to contribute.