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Colorado FAMLI Division Adopts New Wages Definition

11 Sep


Update Applicable to:

All employers with employees performing work in Colorado

What happened?

The FAMLI Division has recently approved a modification to the definition of “wages”, set to take effect on January 1, 2024. This update will replace the existing definition, which currently mirrors the Unemployment Insurance Division’s interpretation of “wages,” with a new definition.

What are the details?

In response to extensive feedback indicating that the previous definition was overly complex, the Division has revised it to be more straightforward. According to the updated definition, FAMLI “wages” will now refer to “gross wages,” encompassing standard employer compensation. Beginning January 1, 2024, premiums and benefits will be computed based on this simplified definition.

Gross wages will include the following post-tax amounts:

  • Salary
  • Hourly wage
  • Overtime
  • Tips
  • Bonuses
  • Commissions
  • Piece rate
  • Employer-provided paid leave (PTO, sick, vacation, etc.)
  • Disability benefits paid by the employer and not by a third-party
  • Parental leave paid by the employer and not by a third party
  • The value of lodging or meals used as a credit toward the minimum wage

Gross wages will not include:

  • Severance payments
  • Deferred compensation contributions or payments
  • Profit-sharing
  • Pensions or retirement plan payments
  • Expense reimbursements (mileage, travel, moving, per diems, etc)
  • Non-monetary payments (except lodging or meals to the extent they’re used as a credit toward the minimum wage)

For example, if an employee is paid a $1,000 weekly salary and chooses to have their $100 health insurance contribution deducted on a pre-tax basis, their post-tax gross wage is $900.  


For more information, please see the links below:


Amendment to Rules

FAMLI Toolkit for Employers

Administrator Fact Sheet

What do employers need to do?

Employers should review the above links including the amendment. In summary, employers won’t report or collect employee contributions from any pre-tax deductions under the new definition. Employers simply need to report the post-tax gross wage amount and may collect employee contributions from post-tax gross wages.

Need help understanding how changes to employment laws will affect your business?

Learn more about how Vensure's Colorado PEO services can help you navigate complex employment laws and keep your business compliant.

This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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