Colorado FAMLI Act: Common Questions & Answers - Hackstaff, Snow, Atkinson & Griess, LLC

Colorado FAMLI Act: Common Questions & Answers

FAMLI Act FAQ  With the recent adoption of the Colorado Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Act in January 2024, there have been a lot of questions about who is eligible and what the benefits are, and the benefits from FAMLI as opposed to the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

While every employer is required to notify their employees of the FAMLI program, employees can also sign up for information and updates directly from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDOLE). Employees of participating employers are protected against termination or retaliation as a response to utilizing FAMLI benefits. However, it’s important to note that employees must have been with the employer for more than 180 days (roughly six months) to receive the job protection benefit.

Local government employers can opt-out

The FAMLI Act does allow local government employers the freedom to opt-out of the program, which means that local government employees may not have the same job protections. Even if a local government employee has opted in voluntarily, if the local government employer has opted out, that employee would not be protected under the FAMLI Act. 

In this situation, the employee would be able to take FAMLI leave, but their job would not be protected. However, if the employer is covered by FMLA, the employee’s leave may be protected. Therefore, it’s highly recommended that all local government employees check with their Human Resources department to get a full understanding of their FAMLI and FMLA protections.

Benefits are available after a minimum of wage earnings

FAMLI benefits are not immediately available. As mentioned above, employees must have been employed with the participating employer for more than 180 days. They must also have earned a minimum of $2,500 in wages subject to FAMLI premiums over the period of a year.

Most employees will see a FAMLI wage deduction on their pay stubs, though some employers may opt to cover the employee contributions as a benefit. If the employer covers the cost, the deduction will not show on any employee’s pay stub. FAMLI contributions are currently based on 0.9% of wages through 2025, with annual increases set each year after by the Division Director. There is a statutory cap of 1.2% of an employee’s wages.

Self-employed individuals are eligible to participate

Self-employed workers have the option to participate in FAMLI if they agree to pay premiums and report income for a minimum of three years. This prevents individuals from opting in only when an anticipated need arises. Once enrolled, self-employed workers will need one calendar quarter of paid premium before they are eligible to collect benefit payments. 

Self-employed workers must register in the My FAMLI+ Employer portal provided by CDOLE, and can designate a retroactive coverage period and pay the premium if needed.

Hackstaff, Snow, Atkinson & Griess is here to help.

Our experienced employment law attorneys can advise employers on the new requirements to ensure your workplace is in compliance, as well as help navigate the intricacies between the FAMLI and FMLA regulations. Contact us today for a free consultation.