Request for Proposals: Policy & Legal Support for CO Paid Family & Medical Leave Implementation Project

Request for Proposals: Policy & Legal Support for CO Paid Family & Medical Leave Implementation Project


Ashley Panelli, Associate Director

Cc: Dre Chiriboga-Flor, State Director



For nearly five decades, 9to5 has been advancing economic justice for women, grounded in a racial and gender justice lens. As a grassroots, membership-based organization, our members are affected by the issues we work on every day: low-wage jobs, the erosion of a social safety net, the lack of paid leave, unemployment, workplace discrimination, and the lack of affordable housing options. Our programs include grassroots organizing, leadership development and training, nonpartisan civic engagement, and policy change campaigns. We have members throughout the country, almost 30 staff members total, and physical offices in Atlanta, Georgia; Denver, Colorado; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


9to5 Colorado co-led the coalition that won the historic passage of Proposition 118 in November 2020, after almost 10 years of leading efforts at the state legislature.  The ballot establishes a state-run paid family and medical leave insurance program.  It was the first time a paid leave program was passed through the ballot in the United States. 9to5 co-chaired the table alongside Working Families Party and United for a New Economy. Over time we learned that strong policies include clear implementation, and accountability for change.


Now that Prop 118 has passed, 9to5 and our partners must continue to defend the measure and ensure its complete and equitable implementation. Our goal is to enact a strong paid leave policy that covers all workers, recognizes diverse family structures, prioritizes equitable delivery of paid leave to workers, serves as a model for the rest of the country and builds greater economic justice in Colorado.


The Colorado paid leave implementation campaign will serve as a model for other states. We have already shared lessons learned with other advocates, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.  It is imperative that the strength of this historic ballot win is upheld throughout the implementation process to serve as an example of how investing in equity, public goods, and government resources are beneficial for our communities. Paid leave programs are often susceptible to the push to privatize, which would lead to greater inequities for working class and low income women of color.  


9to5 Colorado is currently the sole organization leading the PFML Implementation Coalition- the central body responsible for coordination of our implementation phase. 

Project Goals & Scope of Services

9to5 Colorado is seeking the services of a policy and legal researcher and developer to support with the rules and regulations process facilitated by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) for the paid family and medical leave program starting in September of 2021.


The award will be made to a knowledgeable individual or firm that has significant experience in worker justice legislative and enforcement work.  


The selected individual, firm, or organization will be responsible for monitoring the rules and regulations process, researching and recommending best practices, troubleshooting with lead paid leave staff members, and developing memos on information gathered. 

Tasks include but may not be limited to the following criteria:

  • Coordinate with Associate Director, State Director, and Coalition Coordinator on a weekly basis to share updates and create a strategy.
  • Attend regular rules and regulations meetings with CDLE
  • Research best practices for rules and regulations for paid leave programs across the state and develop new ideas that are grounded in 9to5’s racial, gender, and social justice values. 
  • Develop memos and reports for 9to5 staff and coalition partners to share findings and identify key topics in the rules and regulations process that require community feedback on a bi-weekly basis.  
  • Present information to grassroots members in a way that is accessible and allows them to engage in offering feedback and engaging in decision-making processes related to policy proposals. 
  • Coordinate with our communications team on any significant updates if media opportunities come up or if the coalition is put in the position to respond to harmful narratives or proposals from the opposition. 
  • Share testimony or submit written testimony during rules and regulations public comment sessions.
  • By the end of the contract, submit a report on preliminary lessons from implementing paid family and medical leave in Colorado. 


Anticipated Selection Schedule

The Request for Proposal timeline is as follows:

Request for Proposal Published: June 21st 2021

Deadline for Bidders to Submit Proposal: September 13th 2021

Selection of Top Bidders / Notification to Unsuccessful Bidders: September 20th 2021

Contract Award / Notification to Unsuccessful Bidders: September 24th 2021

Project Completion Date: ~March 31st 2021


Time and Place of Submission of Proposals


Respondents to this RFP must submit one original digital version of their proposal. Responses must be received no later than September 13th, 2021. Responses should be clearly marked 

“RFP PFML Implementation Project” and emailed to Ashley Panelli, at, CC:


This contract will be in effect for 6 months after the project start date. CDLE will continue regulatory implementation through 2022. Extension of this contract is contingent upon additional funding and the needs of the paid leave implementation coalition.

Elements of Proposal

A submission must, at a minimum, include the following elements:

  • Description of the firm. Organization, or individual,  general overview, plus any names and credentials of team members.
  • A one-page narrative outlining the contractor’s strengths and distinguishing skills or capabilities as they might relate to 9to5 Colorado.
  • A representative selection of a memo exemplifying policy development and research skills and alignment with racial, gender, and social justice values. 

Evaluation Criteria

The successful respondent will possess:

  • The experience, knowledge, skills, and qualifications of the contractor related to legislative and policy development experience and associated individuals who will be available to provide these services.
  • The competitive cost of services.
  • The expertise of the contractor in working with similar customers.
  • A strong racial and gender justice framework and analysis.

Possible Roadblocks

Bidders should be aware that the proposed timeline of rules and regulations and implementation has shifted over the last few months because of challenges CDLE has been facing related to current worker programs. This may delay parts of the implementation process and CDLE may extend the rulemaking process past the end of this contract.


We expect that relationships formed through this project will be approached with compassion, consideration, and respect and will be a valuable experience for everyone involved.


9to5 Colorado’s budget for the project is a prorated monthly retainer rate of $6000.

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