Denver to Vote on Paid Sick Leave for Employees

The Colorado chapter of 9to5 has submitted a ballot initiative that would require larger Denver employers to provide each employee with up to 72 hours of paid sick leave per year. Employers with fewer than 10 employees would be required to provide up to 40 hours per employee. Paid sick time would be earned based upon the number of hours worked by the employee. As a result, both full- and part-time employees would be able to earn paid sick leave.

Paid sick leave could be used for preventive care, treatment, or diagnosis of the employee’s own physical or mental illness. It could also be used to care for a family member, broadly defined as spouse, child, parent, grandparent, sibling, in-law, domestic partner, or person related by blood or affinity who is like a close family member. The ballot initiative has several other troubling provisions, such as allowing yearly carryover and not requiring the ill employee to provide advance notice or find a replacement employee when they are out sick.
“While existing PTO and vacation policies could be used to satisfy the initiative’s paid time off requirements, the administrative and punitive elements should be very concerning to employers,” says MSEC attorney Mark Parcheta.