Colorado: Additional Guidance for FAMLI Program and Private Plan Option


All Employers with CO Employees


January 1, 2024



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Colorado’s state-run Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program, which allows employees to take at least 12 weeks of paid leave for qualifying events and is funded through premiums, received additional clarity and guidance. The most significant points addressed are summarized below.


Eligibility. Employees are entitled to benefits once they earn at least $2,500 in wages within Colorado from any or multiple employers at any point during the preceding year.


12-Month Period. To evaluate the amount of leave available in a 12-month period, employers must use the 12-month period rolling backwards, beginning on the first day an employee begins taking benefits.


Application. Employees apply for benefits directly to the FAMLI Division when the employer does not have an approved private plan. Applications must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the anticipated start date for benefits unless it is impracticable in which case the FAMLI Division may still consider applications submitted after leave begins. A health certification form must also be provided.


Notice. Employers can require employees to notify them directly of a need for FAMLI leave and should follow the employer’s customary notice requirements for leave. In addition, the FAMLI Division will notify the claimant’s employer of an application for benefits within five business days of the submission.


Approval. The FAMLI Division will make a decision on the claim for benefits within two weeks. If approved, the notification will include the start date, leave duration, and a description of approved reduced leave or intermittent leave. Employers can request information regarding the benefit amount and reason for leave so the employer can coordinate other benefits, such as PTO, sick leave, or other paid leave. Employers also have a right to dispute the approval of benefits, and employees can also appeal a denial of benefits.


Return to Work. Employers can require an employee returning from FAMLI leave to submit a fitness-for-duty certification. This process is similar to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).


Private Plans. Final rules addressing private plans through which employers can meet the requirements of FAMLI were published November 7, 2022. In order to comply, a private plan must, in addition to other requirements, provide the required number of weeks of benefits, provide the same level of wage replacement,  include no additional requirements or conditions, deduct no more than the permitted amount from employee paychecks to fund the plan, cover all employees through the duration of their employment, remain compliant with all other FAMLI requirements, and be approved by the state as compliant.


Although the FAMLI does not go into effect until January 1, 2024, all employers must begin collecting and remitting premiums to the state as of January 1, 2023. Additional guidance is also anticipated regarding administration of FAMLI benefits with other paid and unpaid leave benefits.


Action Items

  1. Register with My FAMLI+ prior to January 1, 2023.
  2. Review the guidance here.
  3. Review the private plan rules here.
  4. Have appropriate personnel trained on FAMLI and private plan requirements.
  5. Subscribers can call our HR Hotline at (833) 268-5531 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser. © 2022 ManagEase