In Colorado, family and medical leave laws ensure a balance between the work and personal lives of employees. These laws are designed to support employees during significant life events or personal or family health challenges.
While the interplay of state and federal statutes can be complex, eligible businesses must obey family and medical leave laws—otherwise, they could find themselves vulnerable to legal action. If you find yourself in need of legal guidance contact our Denver worker’s compensation attorneys today.
Federal Family and Medical Leave Requirements
The Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) mandates that eligible employers provide unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees. Colorado law requires employers with at least 50 employees for 20 weeks in the current or preceding year to comply with FMLA requirements.
To be eligible for FMLA leave, employees must:
Have worked for the company for at least one year
Have worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous year
Work at a location with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radiu
Employees can take FMLA leave if they need time off to bond with a new child, recover from or care for a family member with a serious health condition, prepare for a family member’s military service, or care for a family member who suffered a serious injury during active duty. They may take up to 12 weeks of leave during a 12-month period, or 26 weeks of leave for military caregiving.
The Colorado Family Care Act
The Colorado Family Care Act (FCA) expands on the FMLA by including domestic partners and civil union partners in the definition of family member. Eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period to care for a domestic or civil union partner with a serious health condition. According to the FCA, this leave should run concurrently with FMLA leave.
Domestic Violence Leave
In instances of domestic violence, Colorado laws require employers with at least 50 employees to provide eligible victims with up to three days off in a 12-month period. This leave can be used to seek medical treatment or counseling, obtain a civil protection order, receive legal assistance, attend court proceedings, or secure safe housing.
Colorado law stipulates that employers offering parental leave for the birth of a biological child must provide the same leave period to adoptive parents. However, this rule does not apply to step-parent adoptions.
Colorado Small Necessities Leave
The Colorado Small Necessities Leave permits parents or legal guardians of school-age children to take time off to attend parent-teacher conferences or educational meetings. Employers with at least 50 employees must allow up to six hours of unpaid leave per month and a total of 18 hours per school year for this purpose.
What to Do If Your Employer Violates Family and Medical Leave Laws
If you believe your employer has violated state or federal leave laws, it is crucial to document the incident and consult with an employment lawyer to understand your rights and possible legal recourse. You may also consider filing a complaint with the appropriate federal or state labor department.
The process of seeking justice can be daunting, but it is essential to remember that these laws are in place to protect your rights as an employee. Contact a Denver worker’s compensation lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your next steps.