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Letter from Gov. Polis & COWINS Ex. Director Hilary Glasgow

December 21, 2020

Letter from Gov. Polis & COWINS Ex. Director Hilary Glasgow

Dear State Employees,

My administration and your union, Colorado WINS, are dedicated to investing in the hardworking people that serve our great state. Many of you have worked day and night during this past year to ensure that we can save Coloradans lives and come out stronger from this public health crisis. We have heard your need for a Paid Family Medical Leave program to care for a loved one, welcome a new child into the home, or recover from a serious illness. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the need for this type of program as many state employees are juggling the challenges of providing services to Coloradans, dealing with a life-altering event, and taking care of themselves and their families.

One of the core values of my administration is supporting women and families. That is why I have championed lowering the cost of healthcare with programs like reinsurance, free full day kindergarten and expanding access to preschool. It is also why many of my senior and cabinet level positions are held by women, many who have young children. Today I am proud to say that Paid Leave will now be a reality for Coloradans.

Colorado voters approved a ballot initiative creating an insurance program that will allow employers in the State to offer Family Medical Leave Insurance beginning in 2024. And we are taking immediate steps, prior to the commencement of collective bargaining, to offer a paid benefit to State employees effective January 1, 2021.

Permanent full-time State employees within the Executive Branch will be eligible for up to 80 hours of Paid Family Medical Leave. Part-time employees will have this benefit prorated based on their hours worked. Eligibility for the state employee program will coincide with the State’s current Family and Medical Leave Act program, effectively ensuring that the first two weeks of unpaid leave are now paid, and employees must have 12 months of total State service in order to receive the benefit.

We know that 80 hours is not enough, it’s far from that. You deserve more than that, but this is just the beginning and it provides hope for the future. We are excited to offer this new benefit to you as we trailblaze new ways to elevate the State as an Employer of Choice.

We will continue to communicate with you as this program is finalized and implemented. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please refer to the Paid Family Medical Leave FAQs or contact your HR representative.

Thank you for all you do for the people of Colorado.

In solidarity,

Gov. Jared Polis & Hilary Glasgow