Bill requiring paid leave for workers gets 1st OK in Colorado House

Democrats on the committee voted along party lines over Republican objections to advance the bill to the House Finance Committee.

A bill to create an employee-funded system of extended paid leave for workers at all Colorado companies began its fourth journey in the state Legislature Tuesday, even as Senate Republican leaders showed no signs they are more open to the idea than in previous years.

House Bill 1001, sponsored by Democratic Reps. Faith Winter of Westminster and Matt Gray of Broomfield, would assess a fee of about 0.33 percent on every worker’s paycheck and use the proceeds to create the Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program within the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

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The funds in that program would partially replace the wages of employees who take leave from their companies to care for a newborn child, a family member with a health emergency or their own significant health problems.

Winter said that roughly 25 percent of new Colorado mothers must return to work within two weeks of their birth, leaving those women the choice between caring for their children or taking unpaid leave — if possible — that burdens them financially.

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