As voters cast ballots for national, state and local candidates, they will also be asked to vote on Proposition 118, to create a paid family and medical leave program. If passed, it would be the ninth state, plus D.C., to do so.
This is the first time it has been directly on a state ballot. In the past, it has always originated from a state legislature or, in the case of D.C., the city council.
If passed, workers in Colorado could expect up to 12 weeks of paid leave, with an additional four weeks for qualifying childbirth or pregnancy complications.***
In Colorado, the new measure would include maternity, paternity, medical leave, or time off to care for a family member. The program would work like other social insurance programs with employees and employers contributing to a fund, equivalent to 0.45 percent of an employee’s wages. Employers have the option to pay up to 100 percent of the contributions.
Businesses with fewer than 10 employees would not have to contribute, but their employees still receive the time off. The average Colorado worker would contribute less than $4 a week, according to the Fairness Project.
The measure has received bipartisan support, including from advocates for small businesses, who say owners don’t want to compete with large corporations for benefits.