Paid Sick Leave in Colorado, More

Both the Colorado House and Senate have approved SB20-205, The Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (the Act), which will require employers in Colorado to provide paid sick leave to their employees. Governor Polis is expected to sign the bill.

For the remainder of 2020, the Act applies to employers with 16 or more employees. Starting January 1, 2022 it applies to all Colorado employers regardless of size. Employers also includes the state, its agencies or entities, counties, cities, municipalities, school districts and any political subdivision of the state.

The Act requires employers to comply with the requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) through the end of 2020.

The Act also requires accrual of paid sick leave beginning January 1, 2021.

  • Employees will accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, to a maximum of 48 hours.
    • Employers have the option of granting paid sick leave in a bank at the beginning of the year.
  • The Act allows employees to use available paid sick leave as soon as they have accrued it; there is no allowable waiting period.
  • Accrued sick leave carries over from year to year, up to a maximum of 48 hours.
  • Employees must be permitted to use the leave in at least one-hour increments.
  • Employers are not required to pay unused sick leave on termination, but if a worker is re-hired within six months of termination the paid sick days must be reinstated.

In addition to the above, the Act mandates additional paid sick leave during a public health emergency.

Employers must notify their employees of their rights under this bill by written notice and a poster; the Colorado Division of Labor Standards and Statistics will release the notice and poster in the near future.  Employers must document and retain records of hours worked and sick days accrued and used for two years.

Currently, thirteen states have some form of paid sick leave. Arizona has a paid sick leave law, which mandates annual accrual of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 24 hours (for employers with fewer than 15 employees) or 40 hours (for employers with 15 or more employees). Employers also have the option to frontload the 24 or 40 hours each year. In Utah, there is currently no law requiring private sector employers to provide sick leave to their employees, either paid or unpaid.

Despite these laws, employees may be entitled to leave under other laws, such as FMLA or as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA or Pregnancy Accommodation laws. Please call Employers Council with questions.