How will Proposition 118’s new paid Family and Medical Leave compare with currently required federal and state paid leave?

As noted on this blog, Colorado voters approved Proposition 118, which will mandate the creation of a new state-administered insurance program to provide paid Family and Medical Leave.

As Colorado employers know, the current federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) does not require paid leave. However, federal law currently does require paid leave in some instances, most notably up to 80 hours of pandemic leave with the possibility of an additional 10 weeks for pandemic-related childcare/school closure. Colorado’s newly mandated paid leave law already requires similar pandemic leave, plus on January 1, 2021 at least 48 hours of general paid sick leave.

This new Proposition 118 leave will be in addition to these leaves. Proposition 118 leave is not limited to pandemic-related needs. While this new leave will run concurrently with any federal unpaid FMLA leave, a company may not require an employee to exhaust other paid leave prior to taking this leave, though workers and companies may “mutually agree” to make up any difference between lost pay and the benefits provided with such other leave, quoting CRS 8-13.3-410.

Explanatory material in the Colorado legislature’s 2020 Blue Book summarizing Proposition 118, illustrated this benefit formula with the following table (parentheticals added):

Proposition 118 SB 20-205 (the portion of Colorado’s newly mandated paid leave law that is not limited to pandemic-related needs) FMLA
Type of leave Family and medical Medical Family and medical
Length of leave/paid or unpaid 12 weeks (up to 16 for pregnancy or childbirth complications); paid Up to 6 days; paid 12 weeks; unpaid
Eligibility requirements After $2,500 in wages have been subject to premiums Employee earns 1 hour paid sick leave per 30 hours worked; up to 48 hours per year After employee has worked for 12 months
Job protection After working for employer for 180 days N/A Yes
Employer size All employers (with 10 or more employees) Employers with 16 or more employees as of Jan. 2021; all employers beginning Jan. 2022 All elementary and secondary schools; public agencies; private businesses with 50 or more employees
Reasons for leave Birth or adoption of child; caring for self or family member; family member going on active duty in the military; sexual assault/abuse, & stalking Care for employee’s health/safety; care for a person that the employee needs to provide health/safety-related care Birth or adoption of child; caring for family member; family member going on active duty in the military

Interested in more information about Proposition 118 and the other new federal and state paid leave laws?

  • How will all this play out?
  • What do we know?
  • What can we expect?
  • What should HR professionals do to prepare their organizations?

Join us for a complimentary, engaging and interactive webinar.

L2S Legal, LLC is recognized by SHRM to offer SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP professional credits (PDCs). This program is valid for 1.0 PDCs.

When: Thursday, Nov 12, 2020 Noon 12:00 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada) 

Register in advance for this webinar: 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing Zoom’s information for joining the webinar.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *