In this Capitol Report:
Update on FAMLI Task Force Meeting This Week
Below is a quick update on the Family & Medical Leave Insurance Task Force meeting that occurred this week (November 12th). As a refresher, the Task Force recently submitted two separate models to the contracted actuary to determine the costs for a family leave program for the Task Force members to consider. The deadline for the actuary to submit those cost scenarios to the Task Force is December 1st.
During the meeting on Nov. 12th, Task Force members heard from two presenters who shared their experience with leave programs in other states. One notable presentation came from Joshua Seidman, and attorney with Seyfarth Shaw, LLP. Seldman provided testimony on the potential impact of a family and medical leave program for Colorado employers based on his experience in helping employers navigate existing paid family & medical leave programs and how to integrate those programs with existing employer policies, practices, and other relevant laws. Seldman discussed many of the policy areas that the Task Force has been tackling and ways to balance the needs of employers and workers including:
- Purpose of leave
- Family Member definition
- Self-Employed Worker Access to paid family leave benefits
- Employee Eligibility Standards
- Job Protection
- Duration of Leave
- Intermittent Leave
- Interaction of the State paid leave program with other benefits, including (a) offsetting costs, (b) concurrent use, and (c) private plan exemptions
- Treatment of Small Employers
- Program Funding Structure
After the presentations, the Task Force voted on initial policy recommendations that are not dependent on the actuarial study which included the following:
- Job Protection & amount of time an employee should be required to work prior to taking leave:
- Several Task Force members argued that this parameter should mirror the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which sets the standard at 1,250 days.
- Ultimately, the majority of the Task Force voted to set the standard at 120 days.
- State-run program versus an employer mandate:
- Several members expressed concerns that an employer mandate would lead to discrimination in hiring;
- Ultimately the Task Force voted 9-3 for a state-administered model.
- Funding of a program by employers & employees:
- The Task Force determined in a 7-6 vote that any program should be 100% funded by employees,
- This is departure from the 2019 legislative session that included a split of the cost 50/50 between employers and employees.
- Stacking of leave that could occur when an employee take leave under the Federal family leave Act and a new state family leave program.
- The Task Force members determined in a 12-1 vote that no stacking would be allowed for leave taken for similar type benefits and there would be no required concurrence of non-similar benefits.
Once the actuarial analysis is complete next month, the Task Force will make final recommendations that will be included in a report to the Legislature and Governor by January 2020. Recommendations that are not unanimous will include minority opinions.
Please feel free to contact Loren Furman with any questions regarding this matter!
Colorado Chamber of Commerce Releases Policy Council Schedule
As the 2020 legislative session approaches, we want to invite you to once again participate in Colorado Chamber of Commerce’s Policy Councils. Councils offer a unique opportunity for Colorado Chamber members to add their expertise to our policy-making and influence legislation and regulations that impact business. Council meetings provide an open and frank dialogue between our members, key legislators and state agency leaders. The following Councils are available to all our members:
- Energy and Environment Council
- HealthCare Council
- Labor and Employment Council
- Governmental Affairs Council
- Tax Council
Each Council will meet at noon at the Colorado Chamber of Commerce office throughout the session. Lunch is served at each meeting. Sponsorship of council meetings by our members is crucial to maintaining the practice of providing lunch during these important council meetings. We need sponsors for every meeting, so we would like to encourage members to sign up now to sponsor a lunch! Sponsors receive recognition in both email reminders for the meeting and our online Events Calendar, as well as during the meeting. The Colorado Chamber of Commerce does all of the ordering and setup of the lunch and the sponsorship is always a flat rate of $650. Please contact Laura Moss for more details or to sign up as a sponsor. We appreciate your ongoing support!
Please see the below for specific dates for each council. Councils always meet from Noon to 1:15 p.m. in our conference room at 1600 Broadway, Suite 1000.
2019-2020 Council Meeting Dates
Energy & Environment Council:
January 29, 2020
February 25, 2020
March 24, 2020
April 29, 2020
Governmental Affairs Council:
January 28, 2020
February 11, 2020
March 31, 2020
April 27, 2020
December 17, 2019
January 16, 2020
February 13, 2020
March 12, 2020
April 16, 2020
Labor & Employment Council:
November 20, 2019
January 22, 2020
February 19, 2020
March 18, 2020
April 22, 2020
December 4, 2019
January 17, 2020
February 7, 2020
March 6, 2020
April 17, 2020