How to claim Colorado's new paid family and medical leave benefits
Most Colorado workers can now receive paid time off for family and medical reasons.
Driving the news: Colorado's billion-dollar paid family leave experiment debuted Monday and more than 5,200 people already have applied to receive the new benefits.
- The state has approved about 60% of the claims so far, and the first payments will go out Jan. 8, according to the state labor department.
- The vast majority of the claims — 68% — are related to a new child, while 25% are related to a serious health condition.
Why it matters: Colorado is the first state in the nation to implement a paid leave program through a voter-approved ballot question, and the Polis administration is touting the impact on low-income workers who didn't previously have the benefits.
How it works: Eligible employees — people who have met the $2,500 wage threshold within about a year — can receive up to 12 weeks in partial wages to care for a loved one or address a health issue. Those who experience childbirth complications can get an additional four weeks.
- Workers who make $500 a week can receive up to 90% of their weekly pay, while earners with wages at $3,000 a week are capped at 37% of their salary.
- Employers who participate must hold the job for employees who worked for at least 180 days prior to taking the leave.
- Employers who offer their own paid leave programs at the same level also are exempt.
Editor's note: This story has been corrected to clarify the eligibility requirements for paid leave.
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