Sun Life is eager to meet your Colorado Paid Family and Medical Leave (CO PFML) needs for private plan administration. Sun Life’s CO PFML plan integrates with its Short-Term Disability plans, featuring one claim submission, one claim number, one case manager, and integrated reporting for employers.
Sun Life has created this page for employers and brokers to help comply with responsibilities under the CO PFML law. Please visit this site often for updates.
Additionally, the FAMLI Division is the agency responsible for administering the CO PFML law. Information from the FAMLI Division about private plans can be found on the Colorado Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program (FAMLI) website.
Yes. Sun Life offers both fully insured and self-insured private plan administration for employers.
Any employee is eligible for benefits under the CO PFML law if they have:
Independent contractors and persons subject to the federal Railroad Unemployment insurance act are not mandated to participate in the program.
Base period means the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the first day of the individual’s benefit year and the alternate base period means the last four completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the benefit year.
Most public and private employers with one or more employees during at least 20 workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year or employers who pay wages of $1,500 or more during any calendar quarter in the preceding calendar year.
A local government may decline participation in the CO PFML Program, and an employee of a local government that has declined participation may elect coverage under the Program.
Benefits are paid at 90% of the employee’s wages up to 50% of the state’s average weekly wage.
Earnings greater than 50% of the state’s average weekly wage will be paid at 50%.
The maximum benefit will be set to 90% of the state average weekly wage (SAWW) except that for the year 2024 the maximum will be $1,100 per week.
Employees with multiple jobs can elect to take leave from one or more jobs. Benefits will be paid based on the earnings from the jobs that the employee is take leave from.
Eligible employees are allowed the following in a 12-month period:
The maximum available leave is 12 or 16 weeks per application year. The application year is the 12 month period beginning on the 1st day of the calendar week in which an individual files an application for family and medical leave insurance benefits.
No, there is no waiting period for benefits.
*The definition of serious health condition aligns with that under the federal FMLA. Namely, a serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition involving inpatient care or continuing treatment.
Covered family members include:
Yes, leave can be taken continuously, intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule.
Intermittent leave is available in increments of one hour or shorter periods consistent with the increments the employer typically uses to measure leave, except those benefits are not payable until the covered individual accumulates at least one day or 8 hours of CO PFML benefits.
Yes, any covered individual employed for 180 or more days with their current employer shall be restored to the position held by the employee when the leave commenced or to a position with equivalent seniority, status, employment benefits, pay and other terms and conditions of employment including fringe benefits and service credits that the employee had been entitled to at the commence of the leave. The law does not entitle a restored employee to (1) the accrual of any senior or employment benefits during any period of leave or (2) any right, benefit or position of employment other than any right, benefit or position to which the employee would have been entitled had the employee not taken leave. In addition, the law does not relieve an employer of obligations under a collective bargaining agreement.
It is unlawful for an employer or any other person to interfere with, restrain or deny the exercise of, or the attempt to exercise, any right under the CO PFML law. Employers also cannot retaliate or discriminate against a person who seeks to for does take CO PFML. It is specifically unlawful for an employer’s absence control policy to count paid family and medical leave as an absence that may lead to or result in discipline, discharge, demotion, suspension or any other adverse action.
Employers will be required to collect premiums starting January 1, 2023. The state rate is set at 9/10ths of one percent of employees’ wages.
Employers are not permitted to deduct more than 50% of the state rate from employees’ wages. An employer with ten or more employees may deduct up to 50% of the premium required from the employees’ wages and will remit 100% of the premium required to fund the program. An employer with less than ten employees may deduct up to 50% of the premium required from the employees’ wages and shall remit 50% of the premium required to fund the program. Premiums are not required for employees’ wages above the contribution and benefit base limit established annually by the federal Social Security Administration for purposes of Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability insurance program limits.
In the future the state may adjust premiums, however the maximum premium will not exceed 1.2% of the employees’ wages.
Yes, an employer will be able to apply to the FAMLI Division for approval to meet their obligations under the CO PFML law through a private plan. A private plan must confer all of the same rights, protections and benefits as the state plan and cannot cost the employee more than they would remit in the state plan. Employers may choose to establish private plans to streamline benefit administration, claims handling, and reporting with existing group disability coverages. If the private plan is in the form of self-insurance, the employer must furnish a bond to the state from an authorized surety. If the plan is insured, the forms of the policy must be issued by an insurer approved by the state. We expect to share more details related to the private plan options as they emerge.
Yes. While the CO PFML law creates certain paid benefits for leave because of an employee’s own health condition or for covered caregiving reasons, the CO PFML law is not intended to replace benefits provided by employers through Short-Term Disability (STD) plans and programs. It is important to know that cancelling STD benefits could leave your employees unprotected if they become disabled for these reasons:
Sun Life is committed to assisting you in complying with the requirements of the new CO PFML law and with providing valuable employee benefits to your employees. We also offer leave and accommodations administration services. Please reach out to us and we will evaluate your benefit plans and compliance needs from a holistic perspective and provide guidance and services to meet you and your employees’ needs.
Content is subject to change as Sun Life receives guidance from states and municipalities. This content is not to be considered legal advice. We recommend Clients speak with legal counsel specializing in labor and employment law to ensure your organization has met all of the requirements under the Colorado Paid Family & Medical Leave (PFML) Act, and other applicable leave laws including but not limited to the federal FMLA and the Colorado Family Leave Act. Sun Life’s fully insured CO PFML coverage is issued by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (Wellesley Hills, MA) under 23-FAMLI-GP-01-CO. Sun Life’s self-funded or administrative-services-only CO PFML solution is administered by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (Wellesley Hills, MA). This service is not insurance.
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SLPC 31764 09/23 (exp. 08/24)