In the News Business community opposes Colorado paid family leave legislation

By Andrew Burger,

The Colorado business community is lining up in opposition to proposed legislation that would require all job creators in the state to provide a minimum three months of paid time off.

Any Colorado worker meeting specific criteria would be eligible for 12 weeks of paid family leave, according to Senate Bill (SB) 188, the Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) bill.

The Colorado Chamber of Commerce‘s reservations regarding the Paid Family Leave bill are numerous and varied.

“Aside from the steep price tag of $1 billion per year, one of the major issues we have with this bill is that it fails to align with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act,” Communications Director Cynthia Meyer said.

Meyer said workers potentially could stack state and federal paid leave to receive six months off or more.

“There are also several other technical and substantive provisions of the bill that are problematic and together impose a steep burden on Colorado employers and employees,” Meyer said.

The Colorado Chamber of Commerce supports paid family leave for workers, Meyer said. The “one size fits all” nature of FAMLI isn’t the right approach and may well have unintended, negative consequences for the workers it’s intended to help, she continued.

“Every single worker and employer in the state will be responsible for funding this program, and will share the cost equally through a premium on wages,” Meyer said. “There are no exemptions – even for small businesses which are provided under the federal Family Medical Leave Act, or for workers that already receive paid leave benefits from their employer.”

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