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Colorado SHRM Opposes Colorado Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act

    February 5, 2018

    On February 2, 2018, the Colorado SHRM (COSHRM) Board of Directors voted to oppose House Bill 18-1001, the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act (“FAMLI”). As discussed in a previous article, FAMLI, which was introduced on January 10, would require every employer in Colorado to allow eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of leave in connection with a serious health condition or that of a family member, birth or adoption, or in connection with certain military service. It would also establish a fund, based on a premium paid by employees, for wage replacement for those taking leave. Leave under this bill would be similar to the federal FMLA, but not identical. 

    After careful consideration and thorough discussion, the Board decided to oppose this bill. The Board felt that it would be unduly burdensome on small businesses in terms of compliance, operations, and financially. In addition, the inconsistencies with the FMLA would complicate compliance. The Board also felt that requiring employees to pay into a wage replacement fund, the benefits of which they might never use or when they might choose to use their compensation differently, was questionable. Further, the language of the bill is vague and confusing in a number of respects. Even for those who feel that such legislation would facilitate treatment of health conditions, this bill is a bad way to accomplish that goal.

    This is the first time COSHRM has taken a formal position on legislation. SHRM national is very active in taking positions regarding federal legislation but leaves state legislation to the State Councils. The Board directed its Legislative Director, Colin A. Walker, to develop an “Advocacy” program through which COSHRM will consider, and take positions on, state legislation in the future.

    The FAMLI bill is set for a hearing on February 6, at 1:30 PM, before the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee. COSHRM will send a representative to testify regarding its position on this bill. Other interested parties can attend and testify at the hearing on their own behalf and make their opinions known in other ways, such as writing to their legislators. This and other subjects will be discussed at COSHRM’s Day at the Capitol event February 26-27.