FAMLI: Here’s what you need to know

Janet Arrowood

The Family Medical Leave and Insurance (FAMLI) program goes into effect Jan. 1, and the first premiums are due April 1.

According to the website at https://famli.colorado.gov, My FAMLI+Employer offers an online employer services portal Colorado businesses, third-party administrators and local government employers must use to manage FAMLI accounts. My FAMLI+Employer will operate similarly to My UI Employer, allowing employers to eventually report wage data, remit premium payments, apply for exemptions with private plans and upload letters of declination.

The FAMLI program is funded through premiums paid by workers and employers — depending on how many employees the business has. Employers collect workers’ shares through payroll deductions. Most workers will see a FAMLI deduction coming out of their paychecks starting in January. The employee share of FAMLI premiums is set at 0.45 percent of employee wages through 2024. Employers pay premiums based on employee wages up to the federal Social Security wage cap — $160,200 for earnings in 2023. Employee benefits are calculated on a sliding scale using an individual’s average weekly wage from the previous five calendar quarters in relation to the average weekly wage for the state of Colorado ($1,350.55 as of July 2022) and could increase over time.

If you have nine or fewer employees, there’s generally not an employer contribution. If you have 10 or more employees, you contribute 0.45 percent of their wages up to the Social Security cap. Some organizations aren’t eligible for FAMLI.

Starting in January 2024, most Colorado workers will be able to apply for FAMLI leave benefits to help them get through the following circumstances:

Caring for a new child during the first year after the birth, adoption or foster care placement of that child.

Caring for family members with serious health conditions.

Caring for their own serious health conditions.

Arranging for a family member’s military deployment.

Obtaining safe housing, care and legal assistance in response to intimate partner violence, stalking, sexual assault or sexual abuse.

Starting in 2024, paid family and medical leave benefits will be available to most Colorado workers who’ve earned $2,500 over the previous year for work performed in Colorado.

Covered employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave per year. Individuals with serious health conditions caused by pregnancy or childbirth complications could be entitled to up to four more weeks of paid leave per year for a total of 16 weeks. FAMLI leave may be taken continuously, intermittently or in the form of a reduced work schedule.

The Colorado FAMLI Act runs concurrently with the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Employees apply to the FAMLI division for benefits.

Employers must post a notice by Jan. 1 to inform workers about the FAMLI program. The required notice is available as a poster to download from the employer toolkit at https://famli.colorado.gov/employers/famli-toolkit-for-employers. The notice must be displayed in a prominent location in workplaces.

FAMLI program rules and other  information are available at https://famli.colorado.gov/proposed/adopted-rules.

Not sure how, or if, FAMLI requirements affect your business? If you can’t find what you need online, check with a benefits third-party administrator, payroll manager, tax advisor or service provider like the Employers Council.