Governor Polis Declares an End to the State Public Health Emergency: What Does That Mean for Employers?

On July 8, 2021, Governor Polis declared an end to the Public Health Emergency in Colorado. Here’s what you need to know: 

Under the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA), employers must provide additional sick leave while under a Public Health Emergency (PHE). The HFWA defines a PHE as “(a) an act of bioterrorism, a pandemic influenza, or an epidemic caused by a novel and highly fatal infectious act, for which: (i) an emergency is declared by a federal, state, or local public health agency; or (ii) a disaster emergency is declared by the governor; or (b) a highly infectious illness or agent with epidemic or pandemic potential for which a disaster emergency is declared by the governor.”  Despite the Governor’s declaration, the federal PHE remains in effect as stated here. This means that for the time being there is no change to the HFWA’s additional PHE sick leave requirements and employers must continue to provide same until four weeks after the federal PHE is rescinded.  

For employers in the medical field, the new EO also rescinds Executive Order D 2020 038 and amends other Colorado statutes regarding providing care for COVID-19 patients.  

You can find guidance for business by sector here 

While it is good news that Colorado’s COVID-19 rates are continuing to decline, yesterday’s announcement does not provide a major change for employers at this time. Please contact Employers Council with questions; we can help.