Everyone has family care responsibilities at some point, yet most Coloradans don’t have paid leave to recover from a serious illness, care for an ill family member or welcome a new baby. In fact, America is the only developed nation in the world with no guaranteed paid leave of any kind.
It’s estimated that Working families in the U.S. lose $20.6 billion in wages annually due to the lack of paid leave. And while the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) does provide workers some guarantee of protection from being fired from their jobs for taking unpaid leave, it excludes roughly 40% of Americans
This year, the Colorado legislature considered legislation to create the Colorado FAMLI Act, which would guarantee all eligible Colorado workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for themselves and their families. The bill is not a hand-out; rather it provides hard working Coloradans a little bit of financial security when they have to care for a family member who becomes ill or welcomes a new baby.
Unfortunately, the Colorado FAMLI Act died in the State Senate this year, after passing the full House of Representatives. But by bringing forward the legislation, Colorado businesses and workers had an opportunity to highlight how important it is to create a comprehensive statewide paid leave conversation, and build momentum to continue the fight next year.
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