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May 2022: Colorado’s Public Health Emergency Paid Sick Leave Requirement Continues

17 May


Update Applicable to:
All employers in the state of Colorado

What happened?
On April 12, 2022, The Department of Health and Human Services renewed the public health emergency (PHE) determination. The 90-day renewal took effect on April 16, 2022, and if not renewed again, will expire on July 15, 2022.

What are the details?
Under Colorado’s Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA), employers are required to provide extra paid leave to employees when there is a PHE and for four weeks after the expiration of the PHE. Confusion has resulted due to multiple government officials and agencies, on both the federal and state level, making multiple emergency and disaster declarations. For HFWA purposes, the expiration of one is of no consequence when the others exist.

HFWA’s definition of a “public health emergency” has resulted in widespread confusion and misinformation. To set off on the right foot, the statutory language is excerpted below:

A “public health emergency” is defined as:

  1. an act of bioterrorism, pandemic influenza, or an epidemic caused by a novel and highly fatal infectious agent, for which:
    • an emergency is declared by a federal, state, or local public health agency; or
    • a disaster emergency is declared by the governor; or
  2. a highly infectious illness or agent with epidemic or pandemic potential for which a disaster emergency is declared by the governor.

For more information, please see the links below:

PHE Renewal Determination

PHE Planning

Article 1Article 2

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above, ensure your policies are up to date, and ensure human resources staff and managers are continuing to follow HFWA requirements.

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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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