This fall, more than just the leaves on Colorado trees are going to be changing. The leaves that working families take from work to fight cancer, bond with a newborn, or care for an aging parent are due for change too.
Luckily, you and I are change-makers with a great opportunity to shape the future of paid family and medical leave in Colorado!
Here’s some background: Last legislative session, Colorado took a major step forward on paid family and medical leave when Senate Bill 188 – the FAMLI Implementation Plan – passed the State Legislature. This plan created a task force and process for conducting research and making recommendations about the best way for the state to implement a paid family and medical leave program in 2020.
>>> Before the FAMLI Task Force makes these recommendations, they want to hear from YOU about what you need and want from a Colorado paid leave program.
No one should have to go back to work 10 days after having a baby, no one should lose their job because they get cancer, and no one should risk their financial security to care for an aging parent. We need an insurance plan that provides a meaningful length of leave, is accessible to all working people, covers all families, and is affordable, cost-effective and sustainable for workers, employers, and taxpayers.
To truly meet the caregiving needs of working Coloradans, we need a paid family and medical leave policy that includes:
- A minimum of 12 weeks of paid time off.
- Job protection for all workers while they’re out on leave.
- Coverage for all workers, including part-time, seasonal and contract workers.
- State-run programming as opposed to privatization.
- An inclusive definition of family that includes grandparents, siblings, domestic partners, and individuals one considers “like family.”
- An equally shared contribution between employers and employees.
- A progressive wage replacement so that low-wage workers receive a greater percentage of their wages.
MomsRising member, Kris, from Littleton describes exactly why the FAMLI Task Force needs to listen to our voices and lead on leave:
“I worked at a community health center when my mom got sick. I had to use up all of my paid sick leave and vacation days –about three and a half weeks -- to take care of her. My mom was in her 80s - it wasn’t like she got sick and was going to get better. Once I ran out of paid time off, I scaled back to part-time so that I could be there for my mom, but part-time work didn’t bring enough income to cover my expenses. I ended up taking another job that offered more flexibility but no benefits. I lost my employer-sponsored health insurance and ended up on a plan that cost me nearly $1,000 a month. I almost lost my house trying to pay for everything, and my career suffered an enormous setback from switching jobs. If I’d had enough paid family and medical leave at my first job, my career would be on track, I wouldn’t have drained my savings, and the time I spent with my mom at the end of her life would have been much less stressful.”
Together, we are a powerful force for women and families in Colorado.