FAMLI payroll deductions are here!

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Most Colorado workers are seeing changes on their paychecks this year, as we roll out Colorado's voter-approved paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program to expand access to paid family leave.

On Jan. 1, Colorado employers and employees started contributing to the new FAMLI program. The contributions are building the fund that will eventually provide Coloradans wage replacement benefits during life circumstances that pull them away from their jobs. This time next year, Coloradans will be able to receive paid leave during life circumstances that pull them away from their jobs — like a new child, taking care of a loved one with a serious health condition, or preparing for a loved one’s military deployment. 

The program was approved by Colorado voters in 2020.

“Colorado voters gave us clear direction that paid family and medical leave is a benefit workers want,” said Tracy Marshall, Director of the new FAMLI Division in the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. 

Here’s how it works, what is required by the new voter-approved law, and who is eligible:

  • Employers are required to notify employees of payroll deductions by posting the Required Program Notice by Jan. 1, 2023.
  • While premium deductions begin in January, the first payment employers need to make to CDLE isn’t due until April 30, 2023. (A 30-day grace period will be offered before the first payment is considered late).
  • Employers and the third-party administrators who serve them must register in My FAMLI+ Employer. Employers must register before the first quarterly premium payment is due.
  • Employers and their employees both fund the FAMLI program, with employers paying at least 50% of the cost. Premiums are set to 0.9% of the employee’s wage, with 0.45% paid by the employer and 0.45% paid by the employee.  Premiums may be adjusted in future years but are capped by law at 1.2%.
  • Small employers with 9 or fewer employees aren’t required to cover the employer share of premiums and are only responsible for deducting and remitting the 0.45% employee share to the FAMLI Division once a quarter. 
  • FAMLI premiums, whether they are deducted from employees’ paychecks, or completely covered by the employer, are considered an employer responsibility. This is because the payment of FAMLI premiums are the employer's responsibility to pay to the FAMLI Division every quarter.
  • Eligible workers can get up to 12 weeks of payments (or 16 weeks in case of certain childbirth complications) on a sliding scale based on earnings, with lower wage earners receiving up to 90% of their wages. Workers can take FAMLI leave continuously, intermittently, or in the form of a reduced work schedule.
  • Self-employed workers and independent contractors can access paid family leave if they agree to voluntarily pay FAMLI 0.45% of their wages for three years. These individuals will be able to self-elect coverage when benefits become available in 2024. No action is needed if self-employed workers do not want to participate in the program.
  • Local governments (such as cities and counties) have the option to vote to opt out of the program. Just like independent contractors, employees of these local governments can still access paid leave as long as they voluntarily agree to pay their share (0.45% of their wages) for three years.
  • Private employers of any size can apply to use a private insurance plan that offers the same or greater benefits and protections as the state-run FAMLI plan. Private plans must get approval from the FAMLI Division. This application process is set to open in the first quarter of 2023. All employers will be responsible for paying their premiums until their private plans are approved. Employers who receive approval for private plans that have an effective date of Jan. 1, 2024, or earlier will be eligible for a refund for any premiums paid in 2023 if the plan is submitted and approved by October 31, 2023
  • Federal employees are ineligible for  Colorado FAMLI benefits. 

Colorado’s FAMLI Division will be rolling out a variety of tools this year to help everyone understand how to access paid-leave benefits in 2024. Subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you hear about our webinars, public meetings and other tools to help prepare. 

And let us know what questions you have about paid family and medical leave. Drop us a line at cdle_famli_info@state.co.us to ask your questions and suggest topics you’d like to see the FAMLI Division explore in 2023.

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