More than 11,000 Colorado dads have taken advantage of State’s new FAMLI program

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Colorado dads have extra reason to celebrate this Father’s Day. More than 11,000 Colorado fathers have taken paid paternity leave this year under the State’s new Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program, which covers all parents who welcome a new child through birth, adoption or foster placement.

More than 40% of all bonding claims in Colorado were filed by males, according to gender statistics kept by the FAMLI Division. The Division has approved more than 29,000 total parental bonding claims since benefits became available at the start of the year, making bonding with a new child the No. 2 reason Colorado workers have taken paid leave (after caring for one’s own serious health condition).

Nationally, paid paternity leave is not available to most new dads. Just 27% of the U.S. workforce gets paid family leave, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Here are some other things to know about how Colorado’s working dads can get partial pay replacement when they welcome a new child into their families:

  • The parents of many babies born in 2023 are still eligible for paid leave in 2024 up until the child’s first birthday or one year after placement. That’s in addition to any paid or unpaid leave they have received from their employers in 2023.  
  • Partial pay replacement is available for up to 12 weeks. See how much you’d take home by using our calculator.
  • Employers are entitled to 30 days’ notice before a parent begins bonding leave (assuming the child’s arrival was foreseeable more than 30 days in advance). Read more about Colorado’s FAMLI notification requirements.  
  • Colorado’s FAMLI law is not the same as the U.S. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which is a federal law that requires large employers to offer unpaid, job-protected time off for life events including the birth of a child.

Paid bonding leave has been proven to improve the health of babies and their families and to keep both moms and dads in the workforce.

Dads are especially in need of state-covered leave. Since 1965, fathers in the United States have nearly tripled the time they spend caring for children, and working fathers are now just as likely as working mothers to say they find it difficult to manage work and family responsibilities.

A whopping 92% of employees say that paid paternity leave for fathers is a top empathetic benefit for employers to extend to their workforce, according to Businessolver’s 2023 State of Workplace Empathy Review.

The FAMLI Division at the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) is here to answer all your questions about bonding leave. Give us a call Monday - Friday 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. at 1-866-CO-FAMLI (1-866-263-2654) to ask your questions.