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23 Nov

November 2021: Colorado’s Department of Labor and Employment Issues New Rules for Paid Sick Leave In 2022

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6:28pm

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Update Applicable to:
All employers in Colorado.

What happened?
On November 10, 2021, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) has adopted new Paid Sick Leave (PSL) rules for employees per 7 CCR 1103-7.

What are the details?
Effective January 1, 2022, employers will be required to provide PSL for all employees, accrued at one hour of PSL for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 48 hours. If the employee does not use all the hours accrued, it will be carried forward to and may be used in a subsequent year, except that an employer is not required to allow the employee to use more than 48 hours of PSL in a year.

Employees may use accrued PSL to be absent from work for the following purposes:

  • The employee has a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; needs a medical diagnosis, care, or treatment related to such illness, injury, or condition; or needs to obtain preventive medical care;
  • The employee needs to care for a family member who has a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; needs a medical diagnosis, care, or treatment related to such illness, injury, or condition; or needs to obtain preventive medical care;
  • The employee or family member has been the victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or harassment and needs to be absent from work for purposes related to such crime; or
  • A public official has ordered the closure of the school or place of care of the employee’s child or of the employee’s place of business due to a public health emergency, necessitating the employee’s absence from work.

In addition to the paid sick leave accrued by an employee, the act requires an employer, regardless of size, to provide its employees an additional amount of paid sick leave during a Public Health Emergency (PHE) in an amount based on the number of hours the employee works.

The PHE leave is to be made immediately available, up to 80 hours or a 14-day average, and can only be used once during the entire PHE. Just as PSL, there is no cash value.

Per CDLE on PHE: Colorado’s 80-hour COVID-19-related leave continues if a COVID-19-related emergency remains “declared by a federal, state, or local public health agency,” and the federal COVID-19 emergency is ongoing.

The latest declaration extends through January 16, 2022.

The Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA) continues the right to COVID-19-related leave “until four weeks after” all applicable public health emergencies end or are suspended. For Colorado, this means the earliest end date is February 13, 2022.

The new rules also clarify that per HFWA’s recordkeeping requirements, employers must maintain and provide, upon an employee’s request, the current amount of paid leave the employee (1) has available and (2) has already used during the year, including paid sick and safe leave and any supplemental public health emergency leave. In other words, employers need to keep detailed records of the type of leave each employee has available and has used.

For more information, please see the links below:

7 CCR 1103-7

Senate Bill 20-205

Colorado Adopted Rules to be Effective in 2022

Article 1Article 2

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links above, prepare to adjust their PSL policies, and keep detailed records of all types of leave each employee has available and used.

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