DENVER — Colorado Democrats introduced their long-awaited paid family leave plan this week.
Under the plan, any Colorado worker who has met certain requirements would be eligible for 12 weeks of paid family leave.
Under the proposal, every Colorado employee would pay .32 percent of their income every year to the state family leave fund.
Employers would also be required to pay for .32 percent of an employee’s salary to the state family leave fund.
For someone making $30,000 a year, they will pay $96 a year.
For someone making $60,000 a year, they will pay $192 a year
$256 is the most anyone could pay to the fund, which kicks in when someone makes $80,000 or more a year.
WHO WOULD QUALIFY
Once an employee has worked 680 hours, they would eligible for paid family leave. The program would begin in 2022-2023. Sen. Faith Winter, a prime sponsor of the bill, says a worker could take advantage of this law every year if they face qualifying life emergencies. Winter stresses that would be unlikely.
An employee would only be able to apply for job protection if they have worked for three months in a specific job.
Paid family leave would be offered for up to 12 weeks.
Childbirth, family illnesses, personal illnesses and even domestic abuse survivors would be eligible.
HOW MUCH WOULD BENEFITS COVER?
You would not be paid your entire paycheck.
The state would set a number representing the average salary in Colorado. Based off FOX31’s estimates, it will likely be around $40,000 a year.
Anyone making below that number set by the state would receive 90 percent of their income.
For anyone who makes above that number, they would receive 50 percent of their remaining income above $40,000.
For instance, someone making $60,000 a year would receive 90 percent of their first $40,000 (approximate) and then 50 percent of their next $20,000.
No one would receive a weekly benefit greater than $1,000.
Business groups have signaled issues with the bill as it would force new costs on employers and small businesses.
There are also concerns from TABOR supporters that Democrats are passing this as a fee and not a tax. Per TABOR, new taxes in Colorado have to be approved by voters. New fees do not.
WHAT IS NEXT?
The bill will be heard in a State Senate Committee hearing on Wednesday.