Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Act
“When my daughter needed surgery and my elderly father needed immediate medical attention at the same time, times were tough. The Family and Medical Leave Act gave me the time off to take care of them, but without paid time off, I had to choose between paying rent and caring for my family.”
– Shelby Ramirez, 9to5 CO
Colorado Workers Need Medical Leave
Everyone has a sick child or relative at some point, yet 88% of Coloradans don’t have paid leave to care for a seriously ill family member, welcome a new baby or recover from a personal illness.
Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Act Needed
The FAMLI Act will prevent workers from experiencing serious financial setbacks when they take time off by:
- Establishing an employee-paid, statewide family and medical leave insurance program
- Applying to employees who have worked at least 680 hours in the previous year
- Replacing at least 66% of wages, depending an employee’s income level
Provide Job & Economic Security
Partial wage replacement will allow families to continue paying for basics, like rent, food and medicine.
- Replacement of 66% – 95% of wages (lower-income workers receiving more), capped at $1,000/wk
- Employees could use FAMLI for up to 12 weeks per year, and leave could be taken intermittently
- Workers could come back to the same or equivalent job, protected from employer retaliation
FAMLI Allows Workers to Fulfill Family Responsibilities
People can take care of their family responsibilities without putting their job at risk, including:
- A newborn or newly adopted child
- A seriously ill family member
- Themselves, if they suffer from serious health conditions
FAMLI is Business-Friendly
- Businesses will not pay an employee’s salary during leave and can use savings for profit, to hire replacement workers, or to supplement worker wages.
- A 2017 poll released by Small Business Majority found that 81% of small businesses support FMLA and 70% support a program like FAMLI.
- A 2013 study found, under California’s law 9 out of 10 employers report paid family leave program has either positive or neutral effects on business.
FAMLI is Good for the Health of Coloradans
- Nearly 1 in 4 new mothers return to work within 2 weeks because they can’t afford to go without pay.
- 12 weeks of paid leave increases childhood checkups & immunizations & has a positive impact on birth weight and infant mortality. Additionally, sick children recover faster when cared for by a parent.
- Unpaid caregivers enable 2/3 of older adults to remain in their homes and communities, rather than in long- term care facilities. Adults in need of long-term care have better mental and physical health when cared for in the home.
Colorado Should Lead the Way
- California, Rhode Island and New Jersey have implemented paid family leave insurance programs.
- New York and Washington DC have passed paid leave programs and are in the process of implementation.
- The United States is the only developed nation in the world that does not guarantee paid maternity leave.