If You Are a Colorado Employer Covered by FFCRA – You May Owe to Your Employees Who Took Time Off

When looking at information regarding the new Colorado Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HWFA) coming from the Colorado Division of Labor Standards and Statistics, the legal staff at Employers Council noticed something that may catch our members with fewer than 500 employees off-guard. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) has exceptions allowing covered employers to pay employees less than full pay for the first 80 hours of leave. The HFWA does not allow for those exceptions, as stated here:  (emphasis in the original)

If an employee already received paid leave in 2020 for any of the three categories of COVID-related needs that HFWA covers, the employer can count that as part of the two weeks that HFWA requires in 2020. But if the prior leave was at less than full pay . . . , then it counts toward the HFWA requirement with a discount for how much the pay was reduced.

Example: In April 2020, an employer gave a full-time employee ⅔ pay for two weeks of quarantine for suspected COVID-19; in August 2020, the employee actually gets COVID-19. The employee is entitled to leave in August at full pay. However, the employer already provided paid leave in April that equals 53 and ⅓ hours of the employee’s regular rate. So in August, the employer must provide 26 and ⅔ hours of paid leave, because that is what totals 80 hours’ paid leave at the employee’s full regular rate.

Meaning that if you have employees who have not been paid the full amount for the first 80 hours of FFCRA leave, you may need to pay those employees the difference. If you have questions about this, please give us a call or send an email. We can help.