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Thursday, 17 September 2020 22:08

Proposition 118: Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program

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The COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 has created new challenges for families and employers, and has sparked much discussion about a more formal Family and Medical Leave policy. On the upcoming Colorado November ballot is Proposition 118, which introduces a Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program for eligible employees with benefits that would begin in 2024. 


  • Would create a paid family and medical leave insurance program for Colorado employees administered by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment

  • Would require employers and employees in Colorado to submit a payroll premium to finance the new insurance program beginning January 1, 2023

  • The policy would allow eligible employees up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave insurance benefits (up to 16 weeks if due to complications from childbirth) annually beginning January 1, 2024 (up to $1,100 a week in wages)

  • Would also create job protections for employees who take paid family and medical leave

  • Employees working for any size private employer are eligible, but employers under 10 employees are not required to pay the employer’s half of the premium

  • Self employed individuals and employees of non-participating local governments can opt in

Employee Eligibility

  • Employees would be eligible once they have earned at least $2,500 in wages and have been employed with their employer for at least 180 days

  • Eligible employees who return from leave would be entitled to return to the same position with equal seniority, status, benefits, and pay

  • Employees would be entitled to keep benefits during their leave, but required to continue paying their portion of the health premium

An eligible employee would be able to take leave for the following reasons:

  • Caring for a new child in the first year after birth, adoption or placement

  • Caring for themselves or family members during a serious illness

  • Safe leave for domestic or sexual abuse

  • Assisting a family member called to active duty

How would the initiative be funded?

  • The state would use money in the fund to pay employees during their leave. The amount an employee would receive is based on the employee’s average weekly wage.

  • The total premium cost would be 0.9% of an employee’s taxable wage

    • At least 50% would be paid by employer

    • Up to 50% would be paid by the employee

  • Since the premium would be based on the employee’s taxable rate, the employer’s annual premium would range from $117 - $702 per employee.

As always, there are proponents for and against this program. Further details can be found in the 2020 State Ballot Information booklet found here. If you have any questions on this program, please reach out to your Fall River team, and be sure to cast your vote this November! 

Read 926 times Last modified on Wednesday, 30 September 2020 09:38
Juliet Fitzgibbons

Juliet joins Fall River as an Account Executive and brings over 15 years of prior broker and account management experience. Her experience brings extensive knowledge on employee benefit programs, account management and creative cost-saving strategies and compliance solutions for employers of various sizes.

She is responsible for new business proposals, client renewals including plan benchmarking, rate analysis and mid-year reviews. She helps clients navigate healthcare systems and educates employers and employees through open enrollment meetings and day-to-day service requests. Juliet joined Fall River in 2015.