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.