Published, Grand Junction Sentinel, Sept 11, 2020:  

Colorado Women’s Alliance opposes paid family leave

While it may seem counter-intuitive, the Colorado Women’s Alliance opposes the paid family leave proposition on this fall’s ballot. Understand that we are not opposed to employers providing paid family leave for the birth or adoption of children, care of ill family members, or employees, themselves. In fact, we commend them.

What we oppose is mandating employers to do so, creation of a new, expensive, government-run program, and requiring both employers and employees to pay into the program, whether or not they need it or use it. Employees will be mandated to pay into the program, through a deduction in their paycheck, even if their employer already provides a generous leave benefit. This amounts to a pay cut and will disproportionately impact low-income, particularly female, employees. For someone making $25,000 a year, the employee’s portion of the payment is $113 and that can grow each year. That may not sound like much but if you are a single mother, trying to pay rent, buy groceries and school supplies, you just don’t have a spare $113.

For small businesses, many of which are female-owned, they have to pay an equal amount for each and every employee. This can really add up for small businesses. This year has been particularly difficult for small business; many cannot survive the pandemic shutdowns. This would be a double blow that most cannot withstand.

For these reasons, we urge a “no” vote on Proposition 118.