|(DENVER) – The Division of Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) within the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) has released a new guide specifically targeting Colorado’s small businesses as a way to increase public understanding of how the smallest startups and family businesses can access paid family leave.
The Small Business Guide to FAMLI was created to help small businesses figure out: How business structure affects FAMLI requirements How to tell if someone is an independent contractor, a co-owner, or an employee How to report premiums to the IRS Where self-employed Coloradans can go to find out how to qualify for paid family leave This new educational tool comes at a crucial time for Colorado businesses. The state saw a record number of new business filings last quarter, up more than 37% from the year before.
“We know that small businesses are opening every day in Colorado, and they have a lot of questions about meeting their FAMLI obligations, so we wanted to create a special guide just for them,” said Tracy Marshall, Director of the FAMLI Division at CDLE.
The guide is aimed especially at business owners and self-employed individuals outside urban and suburban areas who run family-owned businesses such as farms or ranches. The tool comes as research shows that rural residents are significantly less likely than their urban and suburban peers to have access to employer-sponsored paid family leave.
While the new Small Business Guide is geared for owners and operators, the FAMLI Division’s website has several helpful tools for individuals and families to learn about the benefits that will become available to them in 2024 including a blog, recordings of its recent Virtual Town Halls, an Employee Handbook, and a premiums and benefits calculator.
Unlike federal Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) law, which offers job-protected unpaid leave to people working for companies with at least 50 employees, Colorado’s program applies to any businesses with even just one Colorado employee. As a result, FAMLI extends paid-leave benefits to large numbers of rural workers who can’t access unpaid leave because their employers may be too small to qualify for FMLA.
“Supporting Colorado’s smallest businesses is the backbone of what we do. We are very grateful to have reliable and expert resources to share to our membership on Colorado’s new paid family leave law supported through the tools offered at FAMLI Division,” said Celeste Helminski, Director of the Gunnison Country Chamber of Commerce. “These resources have been shared not only with our members but with members of the Mountain Chamber Alliance and beyond. FAMLI Division has been extremely helpful in making sure our business community has access to the information to help them understand and remain in compliance with the law.”
For more details, check out the Small Business Corner on famli.colorado.gov to find more information to support employers navigate the program.