Colorado Required Public Health Emergency Leave

Colorado Required Public Health Emergency Leave

The Healthy Families and Workplace Act (HWFA) – Public Health Emergency Leave

Additional 80 hours of paid leave during a pandemic

In response to the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), Colorado’s Healthy Families and Workplace Act (HWFA) was signed on July 14, 2020. 

Published by CDLE (11/10/20):

“On the day a public health emergency is declared, employers are required to immediately provide each employee with additional hours of paid leave -- whatever the employee has accrued prior to the declaration of the public health emergency at the regular HFWA rate (i.e., one hour per 30 worked, up to a maximum of 48 per benefit year), and a one-time supplement with the number of hours needed for employees who normally work forty or more hours in a week to have access to 80 hours of total paid leave.

During the entire duration of a public health emergency (i.e., during the time between the date on which the emergency is declared and four weeks after the date of the official termination or suspension of the emergency declaration), employers:

  1. are required to permit employees to take both
    1. the paid leave they have accrued prior to the declaration date of the public health emergency
    2. the amount of supplemental paid leave that was provided to the employee on the date of the declaration of a public health emergency, for any of the qualifying reasons
  2. remain subject to the minimum accrual requirements of and employees continue to accrue paid leave (up to 48 hours per benefit year).”

https://cdle.colorado.gov/sites/cdle/files/7%20CCR%201103-7%20Wage%20Protection%20Rules%20ADOPTED%20%28Clean%29.pdf

Published by National Law Review (7/16/20):

“A public health emergency is defined as an act of bioterrorism, a pandemic influenza, or an epidemic caused by a novel and highly fatal infectious act, for which: (1) a disaster emergency is declared by the governor; or (2) an emergency is declared by a federal, state, or local public health agency; or (3) a highly infectious illness or agent with epidemic or pandemic potential for which a disaster emergency is declared by the governor.

To ensure employees may take paid sick leave for the reasons below, employers must supplement employees’ accrued paid sick leave as necessary (at least 80 hours for employees who work at least 40 hours a week; for employees who work fewer than 40 hours a week, the amount of time the employee is scheduled to work or the average of what the employee actually works in a 14-day period, whichever is greater):

An employee’s need to:

  1. Self-isolate and care for oneself because the employee is diagnosed with a communicable illness that is the cause of a public health emergency;
  2. Self-isolate and care for oneself because the employee is experiencing symptoms of a communicable illness that is the cause of a public health emergency;
  3. Seek or obtain medical diagnosis, care, or treatment if experiencing symptoms of a communicable illness that is the cause of a public health emergency;
  4. Seek preventive care concerning a communicable illness that is the cause of a public health emergency; or
  5. Care for a family member who:
    1. Is self-isolating after being diagnosed with a communicable illness that is the cause of a public health emergency;
    2. Is self-isolating due to experiencing symptoms of a communicable illness that is the cause of a public health emergency;
    3. Needs medical diagnosis, care, or treatment if experiencing symptoms of a communicable illness that is the cause of a public health emergency; or
    4. Is seeking preventive care concerning a communicable illness that is the cause of a public health emergency;

Or if:

  1. A local, state, or federal public official or health authority having jurisdiction over the location in which the employee’s place of employment is located or the employee’s employer determines that the employee’s presence on the job or in the community would jeopardize the health of others because of the employee’s exposure to the communicable illness or because the employee is exhibiting symptoms of the communicable illness, regardless of whether the employee has been diagnosed with the communicable illness;

Or to:

  1. Care for a family member after a local, state, or federal public official or health authority having jurisdiction over the location in which the family member’s place of employment is located or the family member’s employer determines that the family member’s presence on the job or in the community would jeopardize the health of others because of the family member’s exposure to the communicable illness or because the family member is exhibiting symptoms of the communicable illness, regardless of whether the family member has been diagnosed with the communicable illness;
  2. Care for a child or other family member when the individual’s child care provider is unavailable due to a public health emergency, or if the child’s or family member’s school or place of care has been closed by a local, state, or federal public official or at the discretion of the school or place of care due to a public health emergency, including if a school or place of care is physically closed but providing instruction remotely;

Or due to:

  1. An employee’s inability to work because the employee has a health condition that may increase susceptibility to or risk of a communicable illness that is the cause of the public health emergency.

Employers may count an employee’s unused, accrued paid time off toward this supplemental leave. Employers may not require documentation for taking this leave and employees may use this leave up until four weeks after the official termination or suspension of the public health emergency.”

https://www.natlawreview.com/article/colorado-enacts-legislation-requiring-employers-to-provide-employees-paid-sick-leave

Additional Resources:

https://cdle.colorado.gov/sites/cdle/files/7%20CCR%201103-7%20Wage%20Protection%20Rules%20ADOPTED%20%28Clean%29.pdf

Our firm provides the information in this e-newsletter for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. The information is provided "as is," with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.

Copyright © 2018 IndustryNewsletters. All rights reserved.

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