Paid family leave bill introduced in Colorado legislature

Photo: Shelby Ramirez Martinez
Shelby Ramirez Martinez flips through a folder of bills in her Denver apartment. As a low-wage worker with no paid family leave, Ramirez Martinez says caring for loved ones over the years sent her finances into a tailspin.

to create a paid leave insurance pool, modeled off a similar program in California.

Under the proposal, the new Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program would deduct premiums from the paycheck of every worker in the Colorado. Employees could then apply to have a portion of their wages covered if they took unpaid time off to care for a new baby or a very ill loved one, or if they suffered from a serious health problem.

Both the amount of the premium and the portion of wages covered would vary based on how much a person makes.

Groups that advocate for working families are pushing the policy, saying it will spare workers, especially low-wage ones, from having to make untenable choices between caring for family and paying their bills. Business organizations generally oppose the legislation, worried that it will make it harder for companies to manage their staffing needs.

Read more about the bill here: Paid leave proposal could mean big changes for Colorado workers, businesses