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CSU Pueblo's FAMLI Program

mother and son

The Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program (FAMLI) provides for paid family and medical leave for eligible employees.  Under FAMLI an employee may receive a portion of their weekly salary for up to 12 weeks of leave per year to care for themselves or a family member.  Those who experience pregnancy or childbirth complications may receive an additional four weeks.  FAMLI income replacement benefits run concurrently with Family and Medical Leave (FML) when both are applicable.

The University has received approval from the state of Colorado to partner with Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (“Sun Life”) to administer and provide benefits in lieu of participation in the State’s FAMLI plan, which will be known as the CSU Pueblo FAMLI plan.  Therefore, all benefits will be administered by and applied for directly with Sun Life.  The plan summarized below is subject to the terms and conditions of CSU Pueblo’s FAMLI plan through Sun Life effective January 1, 2024.

CSU Pueblo's Private Plan


    How is CSU Pueblo’s FAMLI plan funded?

    The FAMLI law requires a payroll deduction equivalent to .45% of each employee’s wages to fund the new paid leave for employees.  The university is also required to pay half of the cost of the leave program (an additional .45% of each employee’s wages, as defined by FAMLI).  The contribution amounts are subject to change annually as determined by State law.

    This payroll deduction is mandatory for those employees working and living in the State of Colorado.


    How are premiums calculated?

    Effective January 1, 2024, the definition of FAMLI “wages” will mean “gross wages” and will include typical components of employer compensation. In other words, the amount that is listed on an employee’s pay stub as “gross wages” will be the amount used to calculate the FAMLI premium deduction amount (0.45% of an employee’s gross wage). This is a change from the previous mandated calculation in 2023 which used the definition used by the State of Colorado’s unemployment insurance.



    Who is eligible for FAMLI?

    FAMLI is available to all employees who work and live in Colorado, including faculty, staff, and student employees. Employees receive job protection through FAMLI after 180 days of employment.


    Can I apply for FAMLI if I am not a Colorado resident?

    FAMLI leave is a voter-approved ballot initiative and applies to employees living and working in the State of Colorado. Any university employee who works in another state does not pay the FAMLI premium and must use their state’s family medical leave programs, if such plans exist, in conjunction with any other applicable university leave programs.


    What situations qualify for FAMLI?

    FAMLI will provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave for the following reasons:

    • Caring for a new child during the first year after the birth, adoption, or foster care placement
      • Employees with serious health conditions caused by pregnancy complications or childbirth complications are entitled to up to four more weeks of paid family and medical leave per benefit year, for a total of 16 weeks
    • Caring for a family member with a serious health condition
    • Caring for your own serious health condition
    • Making arrangements for a family member’s military deployment
    • Obtaining safe house, care, and/or legal assistance in response to domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, or sexual abuse

    How much notice do I have to give to take FAMLI Leave?

    If you have a planned absence due to a scheduled surgery, you can file your claim in advance.  Otherwise, a FAMLI leave claim needs to be opened within 30 days after the first date of absence to be considered for FAMLI benefits. Any FAMLI claim filed between 31-90 days after the first date of absence will be considered if the employee establishes good cause for the delay. FAMLI benefits will never be issued before the first date of absence and will often be issued in arrears, going back to the first date of absence.


    At what frequency am I allowed to use FAMLI Leave?

    An employee may use continuous leave, reduced work schedule, or intermittent leave for all FAMLI qualifying reasons including care and bonding of a child. Employees are allowed up to 12 weeks of partial CSU Pueblo FAMLI wage replacement on a rolling forward calendar year for qualifying eligible reasons. For example:

    • If an employee takes paternity leave on February 11, 2024, for the full 12 weeks, they would not be eligible for any other FAMLI leave period covered until February 11, 2025; or
    • If an employee takes FAMLI leave on an intermittent basis they earn those hours back on the one-year anniversary of when they took them.

    How do I apply?

    Do not apply for FAMLI benefits through the State of Colorado.

    Employees may apply through Sun Life for benefits in advance of the absence from work and, in some circumstances, may apply after the absence has begun. If an employee wishes to submit their claim via mail, they can access a claim form by going to and selecting “Short Term Disability” under the Employee Benefits Forms section, or by contacting them at 800-247-6875, Mon- Fri, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.

    Applications that are considered complete with the required documentation will be paid within two weeks after the claim is properly filed, and every two weeks thereafter for the duration of the approved leave. CSU Pueblo’s FAMLI income replacement benefits through Sun Life follow state statute and do not follow the normal monthly or mid-monthly payroll schedule.

    Any accrued sick or annual leave, accrued compensatory time, State Classified Employee PFML, or short term disability used to make whole the FAMLI income wage replacement will be paid in the university’s normal monthly or mid-monthly payroll cycle, as these follow normal taxation and benefits deductions. An employee’s scheduled deductions such as benefit premiums and garnishments will be deducted from the “make whole” pay.  FAMLI income replacement is currently not subject to Federal, Medicare, or State withholdings. Employees should consult a tax professional regarding their personal situation.


    How can I pay for my share of benefit premiums while on FAMLI leave?

    Since your FAMLI income wage replacement will come from SunLife, your benefit premiums will not be deducted.  You will need to make payment to the university to cover those premiums while you are on leave.  If you fail to do so, your benefits can be cancelled.

    Can I apply for CSU Pueblo’s FAMLI plan through Sun Life if I am not in a paid employment status?

    Employees with an employment frequency of less than 12 months may apply for CSU Pueblo’s FAMLI plan through Sun Life during the period of their paid employment status. This applies to 9-month faculty and staff (including 9-month job offers paid over 12 months). Nine-month employees are not eligible to begin CSU Pueblo FAMLI benefits through Sun Life until they are in a “paid status.”   If a nine-month employee’s FAMLI benefits would continue through a break when they are not expected to work (eg. Winter or Summer break), it is the employee’s responsibility to inform SunLife.  Otherwise, the benefits will continue to be used during that time.  Employees on a suspended assignment and ineligible for pay are also not in active employment categories.

Benefits and Pay


    Can I use accrued leave or other leave programs to “make whole” my pay?

    Yes, employees may contact CSU Pueblo’s benefit administrator to consent to the use of sick and/or annual leave to make whole the FAMLI income wage replacement up to their calculated average weekly wage using the base calculation method. The base calculation method required for the CSU Pueblo’s FAMLI plan through Sun Life looks to the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the first day of the individual’s benefit year in relation to the average weekly wage for the State of Colorado.

    Eligibility for any other related leave programs, like short term disability, will automatically be applied to the “make whole” methodology by the Human Resources benefits and Payroll teams.


    When can I expect to be paid by the CSU Pueblo FAMLI plan through Sun Life?

    As soon as the claim and all required supporting documentation are considered complete by the Sun Life team, you can expect to receive the CSU Pueblo FAMLI wage replacement every two weeks, which is based on the date the claim is complete.

    Any sick and or annual leave, or leave associated with other university leave-related programs to “make whole” FAMLI income will be paid in the frequency of your normal payroll cycle subject to the published payroll deadlines.


    What deductions are applicable to FAMLI income?

    By state statute, FAMLI payments are exempt from benefit premiums, state taxation and retirement plan contributions— whether mandatory plans or voluntary plans.  You will receive an additional W2 from Sun Life on which FAMLI income will be reported. Any leave accruals used to “make whole” FAMLI income are subject to normal taxation deductions from wages and will be subject to normal retirement contributions and insurance premium payments. Keep this in mind if you are actively enrolled in a voluntary retirement plan, as you may wish to lower your contributions during periods of FAMLI leave.


    Is there a minimum hour requirement before CSU Pueblo FAMLI pays?

    Yes, there is a minimum claim reimbursement of at least eight hours. Absences of less than eight hours may be approved, but wage replacement benefits will be paid after the eight-hour threshold is met with each claim and each recertification period.


    Will my CSU Pueblo FAMLI benefit be recalculated if my hours change?

    Yes, if an employee’s regular work schedule increases/decreases during FAMLI leave, adjustments will be made to the income replacement. It is the responsibility of the claimant to inform Sun Life of this change.


    How are my retirement contributions impacted while on FAMLI pay?

    FAMLI pay is an income replacement benefit that is not subject to retirement contributions from the employee or employer. If you are a PERA member in the defined benefit plan, this means during periods of receiving only FAMLI income replacement service credit is not earned.

    Employees in the Defined Contribution Plan (DCP) or the Student Employee Retirement Plan (SERP) also do not make retirement contributions based on FAMLI income replacement benefit.  CSU Pueblo will only make retirement contributions on the amount of make-whole pay you receive, if you have chosen this option.


    Do CSU Pueblo FAMLI benefits stop when my employment ends?

    You must be an active employee in paid status to apply for CSU Pueblo’s FAMLI plan through Sun Life. If you are on a reduced work schedule or intermittent leave, FAMLI leave ends upon termination or the end of the contract period and a new application can be submitted upon rehire or the beginning of the next contract period. Employees on continuous FAMLI leave are eligible through the duration of the approved leave.


    Do I have to use FAMLI for holidays or university breaks?

    Employees on continuous FAMLI leave will receive income replacement from the CSU Pueblo Sun Life FAMLI program. The fact that a holiday/break may occur within the week taken as FAMLI has no effect; the week is counted as a week of FAMLI leave. This assumes the employee began leave during a period of work and the leave begins before the holiday or university break.

    If an employee is using FAMLI leave in increments of less than one week, the holiday/break will not count against the employee’s FAMLI entitlement and the employee will not receive wage replacement benefits from FAMLI. The normal leave code would be used for holidays, if they would normally receive holiday pay and not be working.

How much will my benefit be?

FAMLI benefits are calculated on a sliding scale, up to a weekly maximum benefit currently set at $1,100. The monetary calculation for FAMLI uses a base period of the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the first day of the employee’s benefit year, in relation to the average weekly wage* for the State of Colorado.

The weekly benefit is 90% of an employee’s average weekly wage, if it is equal to or less than 50% of the state’s average weekly wage (indexed annually). Then, for any portion of the employee’s wage greater than 50% of the state’s average weekly wage the calculation is 50% of your remaining average weekly wage up to the $1,100 weekly maximum.

*The State’s average weekly wage is subject to change annually by the State of Colorado.

Examples of Benefit Payments

Weekly Wage

Weekly Benefit

Max Annual Benefit

% of Weekly Wage





















Coordination With Other Leave Programs


    How does CSU Pueblo’s FAMLI plan through Sun Life integrate with other employer paid leave programs?

    Employees are not entitled to duplicate FAMLI wage replacement benefits with employer provided paid leave programs. With mutual agreement of the employee, CSU Pueblo’s FAMLI program through Sun Life will allow use of accrued leave or other paid leave programs to supplement the FAMLI income replacement by “making whole” the partial income replacement up to the employee’s average weekly wage. If an overpayment occurs for the same hours, CSU Pueblo’s Payroll department will remedy the overpayment with a reversal through payroll.


    Am I eligible for CSU Pueblo FAMLI in 2024 if I became a new parent in 2023?

    Yes, new parents are eligible to apply for CSU Pueblo’s FAMLI plan through Sun Life to bond with a new child anytime within the first 12 months after a birth, adoption, or foster care placement. New parents will have some weeks of eligibility in 2024 depending upon the date the child arrived in 2023 even if other CSU Pueblo leave programs or FML were used. This is a transition rule built into the FAMLI statute.  

    For example, if an employee became a new parent on February 1, 2023, they could apply for CSU Pueblo FAMLI leave from January 1 – 31, 2024, after which time the 12 month eligibility would end.

    Any use of other CSU Pueblo leave programs in 2023 do not duplicate in 2024 for “making whole” FAMLI partial income replacement. Any sick or annual leave accruals would be eligible to “make whole” FAMLI if you consent to their use.


    What is the definition of a family member under FAMLI and FML?

    FAMLI established their own definition of family, which is not identical to who qualifies under FML.


    What is Family and Medical Leave (FML)?

    • Faculty and non-classified staff may qualify for up to 12 weeks (480 hours) of unpaid FML per rolling 12 month period (measured forward) as long as the duration of employment is at least 12 months within the last seven years and has worked at least 1,040 hours during the most recent 12 month period prior to the commencement of the requested leave. Faculty members or administrative professionals with regular or special nine-month appointments of half-time or greater are deemed to meet the 1,040-hour standard as long as all other eligibility criteria are met.
    • Classified staff may qualify for up to 12 weeks (480 hours) of unpaid FML per rolling 12-month period (measured backwards) if the staff member has 1 year of state service as of the commencement of the requested leave. Classified staff are eligible for 1 additional week (40 hours) of State family medical leave to be used after the use of leave under FML.
    • FML is pro-rated for part-time employees.
    • FML and FAMLI run concurrently for all qualifying reasons that meet the definition of each law.

    How does short term disability coordinate with FAMLI?

    State classified employees who are eligible for short term disability through the State of Colorado’s plan administrator, UNUM, will automatically receive a benefit reduction based on the expected FAMLI income replacement they “could receive if they applied” for FAMLI (to avoid overpayments). FAMLI runs concurrently with short term disability. If you receive greater than 60% wage replacement from FAMLI, short term disability may provide job protection but no additional pay. If you receive less than 60% FAMLI wage replacement, short term disability will pay benefits up to only the 60% and cannot be used to “make whole” FAMLI.  It is a good idea to apply simultaneously for both short term disability and FAMLI benefits or a delay in income replacement can be expected.


    How does paid family medical leave (PFML) apply to CSU Pueblo’s FAMLI plan through Sun Life?

    A state classified employee may choose to defer PFML for the qualifying reason of care and bonding of a child. All other qualifying reasons run concurrently with PFML and FAMLI and PFML supplements CSU Pueblo’s FAMLI plan through Sun Life.

    Safe leave allows use of PFML even if FML has already been exhausted. 


    Will I continue to accrue leave while on FAMLI?

    Half-time or greater faculty, administrative professionals, and classified staff accrue sick and/or annual leave based upon their appointment type. Employees earning leave through the Healthy Families and Workplace Act accrue leave on hours worked—one hour of accrued, paid leave per 30 hours worked, up to 48 hours a year.

    Sick and/or annual leave does not accrue on FAMLI income replacement benefits, however, if you choose to “make whole” FAMLI with sick or annual leave, you will accrue leave based upon the leave hours you are being paid.

Does FAMLI run concurrently with other university leave programs?

Yes, FAMLI runs concurrently with other leave programs based upon the eligibility of the employee for other leave programs and Family and Medical Leave (FML).

FML Chart

What is the definition of a family member under FAMLI and FML?

FAMLI established their own definition of family, which is not identical to who qualifies under FML.


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