Colorado: The Next State with Paid Family and Medical Leave?

(April 28) – Rep. Faith Winter’s Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, which would ensure access to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for Colorado workers, earned final approval from the House this morning.

“In Colorado everyone should be able to be a responsible family member and a responsible employee,” said Rep. Winter, D-Westminster. “Unfortunately that is not the case right now. We have employees who are making the choice to be with their baby in the NICU or to keep their paycheck. To be with a dying parent or to keep their paycheck. Or even to attend their own chemotherapy or to keep their paycheck. It’s time for us to catch up with the rest of the world and give workers paid family and medical leave for just the cost of a cup of coffee a week.”

“This program also reflects the needs of our small businesses and entrepreneurs—it’s innovative, it’s smart, and it helps us maintain our competitive edge,” Rep. Winter continued.

HB17-1307 would guarantee all Colorado workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave for events including a serious health condition; caring for a newborn, an adopted child or a child placed through foster care; and caring for a family member with a serious health condition. Each worker would contribute a small premium, expected to be 0.41 percent of annual taxable wages, to the insurance pool. During the leave, 66 percent to 95 percent of a worker’s wages would be provided through the program, with a cap of $1,000 a week.

Three states have implemented paid family leave insurance programs and Colorado is one of 16 states working to pass such policies this year.

The 37-27 vote sends HB17-1307 to the Senate.

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