Frequently Asked Questions

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Who pays for this? How much will it cost? 

Paid family and medical leave is a low-cost insurance program that ensures all Coloradans can take time  off to care for themselves or a family member when they need it most. Employers and employees fund  the program together, each paying 0.45% of the employees’ wage into a state fund. For the average  Colorado worker, that comes out to $3.83 per week. And when Coloradans need it most, they can  receive up to 90% of their pay directly from the fund and not put any financial burden on their  employer. It works like basic insurance. For the average Colorado worker, if they use the benefit once in  a 40-year career, it pays for itself. 

How will this affect small businesses? 

Proposition 118 was designed with small businesses in mind. Small businesses want to do right by their  employees and provide them with benefits like paid family leave, but it's often too costly for them on  their own. As small businesses struggle to recover from this economic downturn, this program is part of  the solution, providing an affordable paid leave option that helps level the playing field with big  corporations. Businesses with fewer than 10 employees don't have to pay the premium, but their  employees still get covered, letting small business owners help their employees and the public stay  healthy and safe without breaking the bank 

How much will workers receive when taking this benefit? 

Workers will receive between 65% and 90% of their wages during leave, with low-wage workers getting  the highest percentage of their paycheck. The benefit is capped at $1100/week.  

What can paid family and medical leave be used for? 

This program covers parental leave to care for a new child, including adoption and foster care, medical  leave for one’s own personal illness or injury, caring for a family member who is seriously ill, needs  related to a family member’s military deployment, and leave for survivors of domestic violence or sexual  assault. 

How long do you have to work to qualify for paid leave? 

Employees can start taking leave after they have earned $2500 on the job. After being employed for 180  days, an employee qualifies for job protection, meaning after their leave is over they can be assured  they can return to their job, or an equivalent job.  

What happens if a worker pays into the program at one job and then starts a new job?

The paid family and medical leave benefit is portable, so a worker can access the benefit they have  earned at a previous job, even if they’ve only been at a new job for a short time. And, workers’ jobs are  protected if they need to take leave, once they have been at their new job for at least 180 days. 

Will self-employed, gig and contract workers be included? 

Yes. Self-employed, gig and contract workers can all choose to participate and receive paid family and  medical leave.  

Will employers pay a salary to the employee on leave and their replacement? 

No. Very few employers, especially small businesses can afford to pay the wage of an employee who is  on leave, plus the wage of a replacement employee. By paying a small premium each week, similar to  insurance, the employer won’t have out of pocket expenses during their employees’ leave. The  employees’ wage will be paid by the paid family and medical leave fund while they are on leave. 

Why do I need this if I’m covered by FMLA? 

FMLA is unpaid. Additionally, only workers who have been at their job for at least one year and work for  companies with more than 50 employees are eligible for FMLA. This program will provide paid family  and medical leave to nearly all workers in Colorado. 

I already have paid leave through my employer. How will this impact my policy? 

If your employer already offers paid family and medical leave that is equivalent to this program, they won’t need to pay into this program, and the employee can keep their existing plan.  

When will this go into effect?  

The program will begin collecting premiums in January 2023. Workers will be able to apply for the  benefit beginning in January 2024.