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Colorado Expands Paid Sick Leave Use Reasons

06 Jul

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Update applicable to:

All employers in Colorado and out-of-state employers with employees performing work in the state of Colorado

What happened?

​On June 2, 2023, Governor Jared Polis signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 23-017, which expands the qualifying reasons an employee may take leave under the Colorado Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA).

What are the details?

The amendments take effect on August 7, 2023. As of this date, Colorado employers will be required to allow eligible employees to use available paid sick leave under the HFWA for several newly covered reasons. The specific new covered reasons include when the employee needs to:

  • Grieve, attend funeral services or a memorial, or deal with financial and legal matters that arise after the death of a covered family member
  • 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
  • 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

In addition, the Colorado public health emergency leave (PHEL) benefit, which is also covered by the HFWA, will no longer be available for covered absences related to COVID-19 as of June 9, 2023.

For more information, please see the links below:

Senate Bill 23-017

Colorado’s Healthy Families & Workplaces Act (HFWA)

Interpretive Notice

Colorado CDLE HFWA Website

Law Firm Article 1, Article 2, Article 3

Current Poster (this is the document that will be updated; location of postings is here)

What do employers need to do?

Colorado employers should review existing sick leave policies and either implement new policies or revise existing policies. Additionally, they should consider policies on attendance, anti-retaliation, conduct, and discipline for compliance with the amendments and update their sick leave poster on or before the effective date of the new law. Colorado is expected to publish an updated poster regarding these changes to the HFWA in the coming months. Employers should monitor the Colorado HFWA website for further information.

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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