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Colorado Enacts Three-Part Paid Sick Leave Law

BY: Mavanee Anderson, Esq. | 07/30/20

The Colorado Healthy Families and Workplaces Act tackles the paid leave issue with a three-pronged approach: (1) extends COVID-19-specific paid sick leave provisions under federal law to additional types of employers and employees; (2) provides for permanent paid sick leave; and (3) provides for supplemental public health emergency paid sick leave during future pandemics [S.B. 205, L. 2020; Colorado Workplace Public Health Rights Poster: Paid Leave, Whistleblowing, & Personal Protective Equipment, eff. 7-15-20]

COVID-19 Paid Leave

Effective July 15, 2020, and remaining in effect until December 31, 2020, paid leave requirements under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) now apply to private employers with 500 or more employees and to private employers with 50 or fewer employees that qualify for the small business exemption from certain provisions of the federal law. State requirements also extend coverage to employees who are health care providers and emergency responders—employees who are excluded from coverage under the federal law.

These requirements replace the temporary Health Emergency Leave with Pay (HELP) requirements under the governor’s executive order and subsequent regulations issued by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

Permanent Paid Sick Leave

Effective January 1, 2021, employers with 16 or more employees must provide employees with one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 48 hours per year. All employers—including those with fewer than 16 employees—will be required to comply beginning on January 1, 2022.

Supplemental Public Health Emergency Leave

The permanent paid sick leave requirements also include a provision requiring up to 80 hours of supplemental public health emergency leave that will apply during future public health emergencies declared by the governor or federal, state, or local public health agencies.

Interested in more state and local payroll coverage? APA’s PayState Update eNewsletter is perfect for you.


Mavanee Anderson, Esq., is an Editor of PayState Update and Payroll Information Resources for the APA.