FAMLI Act amended to create process to create Colorado paid leave program

MEDIA RELEASE

April 24, 2019

Contact:        Jenny Davies, 720-296-9545jenny@progressive-promotions.com

                      Debra Brown, ‭720-917-4900‬, debra@goodbusinessco.org


Senate Expected to Pass Bill to Provide Pathway to Implement FAMLI

FAMLI Act amended to create process to create Colorado paid leave program


DENVER – Good Business Colorado members have mixed feelings about the Family And Medical Leave Insurance/FAMLI Act changes expected to be made to the bill on the Colorado Senate floor tonight. While the business owners were discouraged that the version sent to the floor from the Senate Appropriations committee was not going to have enough votes to pass, they were encouraged that the approved bill will provide a pathway to implementing a paid family and medical leave program by 2023. 


“Many small business owners are desperate for an affordable way to provide paid leave so their employees can take care of a sick kid or elderly parent and still pay their bills. We’ve represented these small business owners in stakeholder meetings because the FAMLI Act is a well-researched, fiscally responsible solution to this problem,” said Debra Brown, Good Business Colorado executive director and co-founder of the tech company Mobilize Us. “While I’m disappointed the full policy isn’t going to be approved tonight, I’m confident that this bill provides a clear pathway to implementing a family leave policy that will ensure employees will be loyal and productive rather than distracted and worried.”


The bill now creates a task force to implement analyses that were originally outlined in SB188, including a third-party actuarial study, a health impact study, a CDLE staffing plan, an analysis of best practices from other states and recommendations from experts in the field.


“Paid family leave is a life and death issue because every single one of us needs to take the time we need to welcome a new child or care for dying loved one without having the added burden of financial insecurity. It is imperative that the legislature pass a solid paid family leave bill next year to solve this problem for employers and employees,” said Pete Turner, founder and owner of Illegal Pete’s restaurants in Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins and Arizona and a member of Good Business Colorado. “I will continue to be a strong voice for FAMLI because it will provide the dignity all of us need in times of life and death.”


“Employers and employees alike need paid family leave, so it’s really important that the legislature study how to make this happen and come back with a solid program in 2020. As a business owner, I know paid leave boosts employee productivity, morale and loyalty,” said “Employees can’t ignore serious family responsibilities, and if they come to work just because they can’t afford to miss a paycheck, they’re understandably unproductive. Paid family leave bill is a win-win for employers and employees and I look forward to advocating for FAMLI next session.”


Despite the sponsors adding a number of amendments to address some concerns – including requiring an actuarial analysis as part of the information gathering phase, allowing businesses with similar or better leave plans to opt-out, narrowing the definition of family, increasing the employee share to 60 percent and more – the corporate lobbyists who raised them did not temper their opposition to the FAMLI Act.


“The original bill was based on solid, academic research and extensive economic modeling based on the experience of states with similar family leave policies,” added Debra Brown. “I am 100 percent confident that the actuarial analysis will show that the FAMLI Act is the financially sound policy business owners and workers need.”


More than seven out of 10 small business owners in Colorado support a paid family and medical insurance program, according to a February 2019 poll conducted by Myers Research. Additionally, 70 percent reported that having an employee take off two weeks or more has had a positive or no effect on their business.

With more than 140 business owner members, Good Business Colorado is a nonpartisan business voice for a strong, thriving and sustainable Colorado.


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jordan pryczynski