Proposition 118, Colorado Paid Family and Medical Leave Initiative
The Colorado Paid Family and Medical Leave Initiative (Proposition 118) would establish a paid family and medical leave benefit for most Colorado workers. It would provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave, allowing 2.6 million Coloradans to take time to care for themselves, a new child, or a seriously ill family member. Eight states including California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island have successfully passed or implemented similar, solvent paid family leave programs. Employees and employers fund the program together, each contributing 0.45% of an employee’s wages to the fund, with the average Colorado worker contributing $3.83 per week. When workers need to take leave, they are paid up to 90% of their salary during that time. Employers may optionally contribute up to 100% of the cost of coverage; businesses with fewer than 10 employees are exempt from paying the premium, but their employees are still covered. Employers that offer paid leave benefits equivalent to the state plan may opt out and keep their plans.
Full text on the ballot: Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning the creation of a paid family and medical leave program in Colorado, and, in connection therewith, authorizing paid family and medical leave for a covered employee who has a serious health condition, is caring for a new child or for a family member with a serious health condition, or has a need for leave related to a family member’s military deployment or for safe leave; establishing a maximum of 12 weeks of family and medical leave, with an additional 4 weeks for pregnancy or childbirth complications, with a cap on the weekly benefit amount; requiring job protection for and prohibiting retaliation against an employee who takes paid family and medical leave; allowing a local government to opt out of the program; permitting employees of such a local government and self-employed individuals to participate in the program; exempting employers who offer an approved private paid family and medical leave plan; to pay for the program, requiring a premium of 0.9% of each employee’s wages, up to a cap, through December 31, 2024, and as set thereafter, up to 1.2% of each employee’s wages, by the director of the division of family and medical leave insurance; authorizing an employer to deduct up to 50% of the premium amount from an employee’s wages and requiring the employer to pay the remainder of the premium, with an exemption for employers with fewer than 10 employees; creating the division of family and medical leave insurance as an enterprise within the department of labor and employment to administer the program; and establishing an enforcement and appeals process for retaliation and denied claims?