PRESS RELEASE: FAMLI Coalition Steering Committee Statement on Paid Family & Medical Leave Legislation

For Immediate Release
February 24, 2020
Contact: Olga Robak (303.229.9447)

Denver, CO – Debra Brown, Executive Director of Good Business Colorado, and Ashley Panelli, co-director of 9to5 Colorado, issued the following statement on behalf of the Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Coalition Steering Committee.

“The FAMLI Coalition has worked with legislators in good faith since last session to draft a policy proposal that would provide paid family and medical leave to all Colorado workers and drive equity for the most vulnerable. We have worked hard to promote a policy based on research, empirical evidence, and the values of lifting up marginalized members of our communities. We are disappointed that the sponsors of paid leave legislation were not able to agree on the details and we applaud the courage of Representative Duran and Senator Williams to stand up for their communities and their resolve to remove their names from the bill.

Coalition members have many reservations about the draft; in particular, we are most concerned about the lack of coverage for low-wage and hourly workers, who are the most vulnerable and likely don’t already have this benefit, and the ability for small businesses to be able to afford this benefit, which they desperately want to provide. Small firms with under ten employees make up 75 percent of all Colorado businesses and cover 17 percent of Colorado workers. This is a huge gap in ensuring the program is accessible for all workers.  

We are committed to finding a solution to the problems with the most recent policy draft, which could still be introduced this session. The Coalition is working to amend the bill and we have presented a number of safeguards and consumer protection mechanisms that can strengthen the proposed legislation, but will also significantly alter the bill as drafted to correct many structural concerns of the proposed program. 

We have shared our concerns, as well as a number of policy solutions, with all four sponsors and we sympathize with the difficult choice Rep. Duran and Sen. Williams made to take their name off this bill. We honor these women of color who had the courage to stand up for the people they represent that would be left behind by inadequate legislation and we admire and respect their bravery in standing up for their values.

From the beginning, this Coalition’s goal has been to ensure any paid leave legislation passed in Colorado was equitable and effective, covering as many workers as possible. We will continue advocating for a paid leave program that is equitable and affordable for both workers and businesses and that covers all Coloradans.”