• Provides up to 12 weeks (plus an additional four weeks for pregnancy complications) of paid family and medical leave benefits to eligible employees working within the state.
    • Uses abroad definition of family including any individual with whom the employee has a significant personal bond that is like a family relationship.
    • It is the first voter approved Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program in the country.
    • Includes job protection for employees who have worked for an employer for at least 180 days.
    • All private employers with one or more employee working within the state of Colorado during twenty weeks in the current or prior calendar year; or paid wages of $1,500 or more during any calendar quarter in the preceding calendar year.
    • State and political subdivisions are included.
    • Local government (any city, county, town, school district, special district or other political subdivision of the state) are included but have the option to opt out of the program. Vote requirement is necessary to opt out of program participation. Visit the state website for more information, https://famli.colorado.gov/employers/local-governments
    • Federal government employers and employees are excluded from coverage requirements.
  • Most employees who work for a covered employer become eligible for CO PFML benefits after they have earned at least $2,500 in wages, subject to premium contributions, over a period of a year.

  • Eligible employees can take paid leave for the following leave types/qualified leave reasons:

    • Bonding after birth, adoption or foster placement of a child
    • Care for family member with a serious health condition
    • Qualifying military exigency
    • Safe leave due to domestic violence, stalking, sexual abuse or assault
    • An employee’s own serious health condition


    Covered family member includes child, parent, spouse, domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or any individual with whom the employee has a significant personal bond that is like a family relationship.

    • Employee will be eligible for up to combined 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for any qualified leave type, with up to an additional 4 weeks of leave available to employees with a serious health condition related pregnancy or childbirth complications. The total combined maximum weeks available will be 16 weeks within a benefit year.
    • Leaves may be taken on a continuous or intermittent basis in full day increments.
    • The weekly benefit will vary based on an employee’s average weekly wages.  The weekly benefit will be calculated as:
      • 90% of employee’s average weekly wage that is less than or equal to 50% of the state average weekly wage (SAWW),
      • Plus 50% of employee’s average weekly wage that is greater than 50% of the SAWW, up to the maximum weekly benefit.
    • Maximum weekly benefit will be $1,100 for 2024. (90% of the SAWW for subsequent years)
    • Job protection is included for employees who have been employed with their employer for at least 180 days.
  • CO PFML requires employers providing the mandated PFML coverage using the state program to begin payroll deductions starting January 1, 2023.

    • State contribution rates for 2023 and 2024 have been set at 0.9% of employee’s wages, up to the Social Security Wage Base. Rate is subject to change annually post 2024 but is statutorily capped at 1.20%.
    • Shared Cost – 50% Employee Paid; 50% Employer Paid
    • Under the state program, employers with fewer than 10 employees do not pay the employer share of the premium but must forward the employees’ premium share to the program. The employees’ share may be withheld through payroll deductions.
  • Employers can participate in the state-run program, or they can self-insure or fully insure a private PFML plan. If an employer opts out of the state program, the private coverage they choose to provide must:

    • Be approved by the state of Colorado
    • Meet or exceed the requirements of the state program
    • Costs employees no more than the state plan
  • Colorado‘s Division of Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) will develop employee notices for employers to use to communicate the details of the CO PFML program. Employers will be required to provide written notice to all eligible employees of their benefits and rights under the CO PFML program, either by a posting in the workplace, upon hire, and at time of claim for benefits under CO PFML.

  • Guardian will be offering a fully-insured private plan option for CO PFML coverage, effective January 1, 2024.  An employer is expected to be able to apply to the state for approval of a private plan starting November 2022.

    The state of Colorado with the Division of Family and Medical Leave is currently developing its PFML regulations, including specifics on how its program will be implemented.  We are actively collaborating with the state of Colorado, monitoring all developments as they become available. We will keep our customers and brokers informed every step of the way.

    You can count on:

    • Dedicated support to file a private plan exemption with the state.
    • Assistance with adjusting Short Term Disability (STD) and Long Term Disability (LTD) plan designs to integrate with a PFML plan.
    • A single point-of-contact for disability and/or paid leave claims inquiries.
    • Experienced claims management by tenured professionals, including safe and effective return to work support.
    • Updates on new regulations and ongoing guidance to keep you compliant.

Guardian can help you manage it all

Effective employee leave management is key to ensuring your business remains compliant with state laws, helping you avoid costly fines.

Guardian has provided employers with statutory disability plans for more than a decade, taking a consultative approach to bring resources together for successful PFML plan implementation and management, no matter the level of complexity. Our management of PFML plans help ensure that any Human Resources team can meet the challenge of efficiently managing employee leaves while helping to ease administrative burden and enhancing compliance. Our plans are fully insured, state-approved, and backed by digital capabilities designed to help make administration easier.

Further, our  Guardian absence management solutions can help reduce the administrative burden and enhance compliance with the integrated management of STD and LTD benefits, state and federal family medical leaves, and company leaves. Available to companies with 50 or more employees, employers can choose from a variety of plans and service options, including ADA support.

To learn more about Guardian leave management services, reach out to your Guardian group sales consultant or broker.

Our plans are fully insured, state-compliant, and backed by digital capabilities designed to help make administration easier.

Disclaimer

The State of Colorado with the Division of Family and Medical Leave is currently developing its PFML regulations, including specifics on how its program will be implemented. Leave and wage replacement benefits available to eligible Colorado workers is currently scheduled to commence on January 1, 2024. All terms of coverage, including benefits, eligibility, coverage limitations and exclusions under Guardian’s Colorado Paid Family and Medical Leave plan (CO PFML) will comply with CO PFML law and regulation. Any optional riders and/or features which may be available may incur additional costs. If there is a discrepancy between this document and the Certificate/Group Policy issued by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, the Group Policy will govern.

Group insurance products are underwritten and issued by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, NY. Products are not available in all states.

* Links to external sites are provided for your convenience in locating related information and services. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agent, and employees expressly disclaim any responsibility for and do not maintain, control, recommend, or endorse third-party sites, organizations, products, or services and make no representation as to the completeness, suitability, or quality thereof. Does not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Consult your tax, legal, or account professional regarding your individual situation.

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