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Colorado Maternity Leave and Insurance

As a small company with 7 employees in Colorado, we pay 100% of the health insurance premium for employees. Is there any state or federal law governing who pays the health insurance premium when the employee is on maternity leave? Heather

Colorado has no state law that requires employers to give maternity or family leave. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) applies to companies and non-profits with 50 or more workers within a 75-mile radius.

So in this case, the maternity or family leave will depend upon company policy, rather than federal or state law. The company is free to set any policy it likes for health care coverage during maternity leave.

The only Colorado statute that addresses maternity leave specifies that any company that chooses to offer maternity benefits after childbirth must offer the same benefits after adoption.

Under FMLA, an employee can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a number of reasons, including the birth or adoption of a child. When an employee is on FMLA, the employer must continue health insurance coverage on the same basis as before. This means if the employee was paying a portion of the health insurance premium while employed, the employee must pay the same amount while on leave. If the employer was paying 100% of the health insurance premium before the employee went on leave, then that must continue. (But again, it’s unlikely that FMLA applies in this case.)

Under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act or PDA, if an employer offers benefits to workers on short-term leave for medical care or other reasons, then the employer must offer the same benefits to workers on short-term leave due to childbirth.

This entry was posted on Friday, December 21st, 2007 at 9:36 am and is filed under
Benefits, Labor Laws.
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