Changes to Paid Sick Leave and Supplemental Public Health Emergency Leave for Colorado Employees
Starting on Aug. 7, 2023, Colorado employees will be able to use paid sick leave for additional reasons under the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA). Governor Jared Polis signed Senate Bill 23-017 into law on June 2, 2023, and it is expected to become effective on Aug. 7, 2023.
Previously, the HFWA permitted employees to use up to 48 hours of paid sick leave per year for reasons related to an employee’s or an employee’s family member’s illness, injury or health condition; to obtain services related to being a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or harassment; or if the employee’s place of business or the employee’s child’s school or place of care closed due to a public health emergency. Starting Aug. 7, 2023, Colorado employees can use paid sick for the following additional reasons:
- to grieve, attend funeral services or a memorial, or deal with financial and legal matters that arise after the death of a family member;
- to care for a family member whose school or place of care has been closed due to inclement weather, loss of power, loss of heating, loss of water, or other unexpected occurrence or event that results in the closure of the family member’s school or place of care; or
- to evacuate the employee’s place of residence due to inclement weather, loss of power, loss of heating, loss of water, or other unexpected occurrence or event that results in the need to evacuate the employee’s residence.
Employers will need to notify employees of their right to use paid sick leave under these additional circumstances. Employers should update their policies and post the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment updated poster.
Supplemental paid leave is no longer available for COVID public health emergency reasons.
During the COVID-19 public health emergency, employees could receive up to 80 hours of supplemental paid leave for related reasons, such as the employee’s or a family member’s need to obtain medical services or isolate due to the public health emergency, or if the employee’s or a family member’s place of business closed or the employee’s child’s school or place of care closed due to the public health emergency. The federal public health emergency declaration related to COVID-19 ended on May 11, 2023, and Colorado’s COVID-19 Disaster Recovery Order expired on May 5, 2023. Since there is currently no public health emergency declaration in effect, Colorado employees are not entitled to supplemental paid leave related to a public health emergency as of June 8, 2023.
***This article originally appeared on the Jackson Lewis’ Disability, Leave & Health Management blog and was reposted on the DMEC website with their permission.***