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Senate Bill 188 Would Guarantee Workers 12 Weeks of Family Leave

The Democratic party recently introduced this new bill and it is now under consideration. This proposal would create a paid family leave plan through the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, but employees and employers would be required to contribute equal amounts.

The Proposed Plan

The plan would provide Colorado workers with 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a newborn child, receive treatment for a major illness, extricate themselves an abusive relationship, assist a seriously ill family member, or for needs arising from a family member's active duty service.

Administered by The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment

The four previous iterations of paid family leave plan failed to pass due to concerns from Republicans and moderate Democrats about the negative ways it could impact businesses. Under the current iteration of the bill, the plan would be administered by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Every employee and every business would contribute weekly to the state-managed fund that would approve and pay worker's claims. This is an important component of the bill because previous iterations put the burden on small businesses to administer payments to their employees who took leave.

All Colorado Workers and Employers Would Participate

The State of Colorado would manage the program in a manner similar to the way they handle unemployment insurance, i.e.: employees and employers would contribute equally to the family leave plan. All Colorado workers and businesses would be required to participate. Self-employed workers could opt into the plan, but any employee working for someone else would not be permitted to opt out.

Employees and Employers Would Share Costs

The costs would be equally divided between employers and employees and would amount to about 0.64 percent of a person's annual income. For example: If an employee was earning $50,000 per year, the cost of the plan would be $320 annually. The employer would pay $160 per year, and the employee would also contribute $160. The employee and the employer would each pay about $3 per week, and the payments would guarantee the worker a paid leave benefit that's a percentage of their weekly salary for 12 weeks.

The premiums are deposited into the family and medical leave insurance fund, and family and medical leave benefits are paid to eligible individuals from the fund. The benefit would be offered beginning in January 2022.

The formula for calculating the benefit is designed as a progressive system, where lower earning workers would receive a larger percentage of their weekly income than higher earning employees. But no one could collect more than $1,000 a week.

Other States Have Passed Similar Family Leave Laws

Six U.S. states and the District of Columbia have passed similar paid family leave laws and several dozen more are expecting to debate bills later this year. Even President Trump and his daughter Ivanka have had discussions about the current need for a paid leave plan in this county. This bill has been introduced and is currently under consideration.

For more info: http://leg.colorado.gov/bills/SB19-188   

The Bercovitz Law Firm

Elissa Bercovitz is a highly experienced family law attorney who focuses her practice exclusively on domestic relations. She handles matters related to the dissolution of marriage (divorce), legal separation, the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities (parenting time, custody, and child support), maintenance (spousal support/ alimony), paternity, step-parent adoption, relocation cases, the division of assets and debt, LGBTQ family law matters, post-decree modifications, and guardianship. Elissa also handles mediation for family law cases.

Schedule a Consultation

If you have a Colorado family law matter, call Elissa Bercovitz today at the Bercovitz Law Firm at (303) 803-1678 and schedule a free consultation today.

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