Colorado State Legislators: Please Support Solutions for Working Families
The two of us (Neha and Rachel) are lucky to have access to paid leave at our workplaces -—allowing us to be both good employees and loving caregivers for our families. But 88% of Coloradans do not enjoy this right.
The fact is, everyone has to recover from a serious illness, care for a sick parent or bond with a new baby at some point. But the U.S. is the only developed nation that does not guarantee some form of paid leave. This is a real problem – for families, businesses and our economy.
At the capitol a couple weeks ago, Colorado workers shared stories of being forced to make choices no one should have to —attending chemotherapy or losing their job; caretaking for a dying father or missing rent; staying at the hospital with their premature infant or keeping the lights on. For many, missing even one paycheck can lead to a financial tailspin, which is why nearly one in four new mothers return to work two weeks after giving birth.
Small businesses, health professionals, and breastfeeding advocates also testified to the numerous benefits of paid leave including employee retention, economic cost-savings, and health outcomes for mothers/babies.
Many young families in our neighborhoods depend on others to provide childcare. If these caregivers get sick, need to care for family or give birth to a child, we want them to take the time they need without the added stress of missing a paycheck. Currently, it’s very difficult for families or childcare centers to afford paid leave for their employees on top of hiring replacements.
House Bill 1307 provides a solution by creating the Family And Medical Leave Insurance program. It’s funded entirely by workers —without employer, government or taxpayer funds. Employees contribute a $2-5 premium each week to access up to 12 weeks of paid leave per year
As this bill continues to move through the state legislature, we are hoping that the paid leave benefits we both have access to will become a reality for all of our fellow workers. Please encourage your legislators to vote yes!
-Neha Mahajan, 9to5 Colorado Director
-Rachel Ellis, Stapleton resident and Managing Partner of Ellis Employment Law
Look up your legislators and contact them today! http://leg.colorado.gov/find-my-legislator
And learn more about the CO FAMLI Act at: www.cofamli.org.