“Full steam ahead”: Colorado Democrats vow to pass paid family leave in 2020

Dr. Sonal Patel would like to grow her small business, but she’s not sure she can afford to.

“I’m getting busier. I’d love to hire someone to help me out,” said Patel, the sole proprietor of an in-home health care company for new moms and babies.

One question nagging at her: What if the person she hires needs to take time off for family or medical reasons?

Colorado will, for the sixth and perhaps final time, consider a bill in 2020 to approve a statewide paid family leave program. Patel strongly supports this effort, but worries about possible damage it could do to small businesses like hers.

“How’s it going to affect me? What about the monetary aspect?” she wondered. “Could I hire someone temporary to replace the person on leave, and would I be mandated to do something for them, as well?

“There’s a lot of concerns.”

On this topic, that is an understatement.

There is no standard requirement for paid family leave for Colorado workers, and there’s broad consensus across the political spectrum about the need for change. But what that change should look like, and whether it is possible to find a compromise that benefits workers and employers alike, has been hotly debated.

Democrats say they’re intent on passing a paid family leave bill next year, but as the session’s January opening approaches, there remain countless blanks yet to be filled.

Read the full article in The Denver Post.

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