9to5 Celebrates Paid Leave Victory
DENVER – Friday morning, the Colorado 2017 Family And Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Act won House approval. After two previous attempts, this is the first time the widely supported proposal for paid leave has passed out of one of the state legislative chambers. By a vote of 37 to 27, HB17-1307 was sent to the Senate.
The FAMLI Act balances the needs of workers, families and business by creating a mechanism for workers to pay small premiums into an insurance plan and receive partial wage replacement when compelled to be away from work — at no cost to employers, government or taxpayers. Workers can use paid leave for the birth of a new child, to recover from a serious illness or care for a sick family member.
The state’s leading working women’s organizing and advocacy group, 9to5 Colorado, celebrated its passage.
The following is a statement from Neha Mahajan, Director of 9to5 Colorado:
“Eighty-eight percent of workers in Colorado do not have access to paid leave, including one out of four new moms who return to work just two weeks after giving birth. Not working can lead to financial hardship, but working while balancing serious care-taking responsibilities can create stress that affects employees’ productivity and health. Neither option is acceptable.
“This is especially true for low-wage workers and workers of color, who are the least likely to have access to paid leave at their workplaces, and the most worried about covering the basics like rent, food and transportation if they are forced to leave their jobs or take unpaid time off.
“We can no longer afford the high cost of doing nothing. A paid leave fund will enhance the wellbeing of individuals, families, businesses and the economy. FAMLI will enable employees to stay afloat financially while caring for their family’s health, while protecting businesses’ ability to retain reliable, productive workers.
“Providing paid leave to all Colorado families is good for employees and employers alike. No one should lose their job or their paycheck for being a good family member. We are thrilled that legislators are leading with a Colorado solution to ensure the well-being and financial stability of working families while staying competitive in a national and global market. We are counting on the Colorado Senate to pass this commonsense piece of legislation and send it to the governor’s desk.”
9to5 Colorado is an organization of low-wage working women organizing for workplace fairness, equal opportunity and economic security