Employers should be aware of a Colorado paid sick leave update, which expands the reasons employees can use leave.
As a reminder, Colorado’s paid sick leave law went into effect for large employers Jan. 1, 2021. For smaller employers, those with 15 or fewer employees, it went into effect Jan. 1, 2022.
The new portion of the law goes into effect Aug. 7, 2023, and will require an updated labor law poster.
Paid Leave Management. Simplified.
Colorado Paid Sick Leave Update
At a high level, the legislation for more allowable leave uses under the law adds issues relating to a death in the family, needing time off due to a school or care center closure, and an employee being displaced from their home for various reasons.
Specifically, the Colorado paid sick leave update regarding eligible reasons for use includes:
- The need to grieve, attend funeral services or a memorial, or deal with financial and legal matters that arise after the death of a family member
- The employee needs to care for a family member whose school or place of care has been closed due to inclement weather, loss of power, heat or water, or other unexpected incident that results in its closure
- The employee must leave their home due to inclement weather, loss of power, heat or water, or other unexpected incident that results in the need to evacuate the residence
Meanwhile, the previous reasons for use remain unchanged. They include the typical items found in paid leave laws:
- An employee’s mental or physical illness or condition, including treatment, diagnosis, or preventive care
- Caring for a family member as a result of the family member’s mental or physical illness or condition, including treatment, diagnosis, or preventive care
- Safe time for employee or employee’s family member
- Time off related to closure of employee’s place of business or the school or place of care of employee’s child due to a public health emergency
How to Manage Paid Leave for Remote and Hybrid Employees
Other Aspects of Colorado Paid Sick Leave
As a refresher, below are some of the basics regarding paid sick leave in Colorado, which also has a paid family and medical leave law.
Date Accrual Begins
Employees begin accruing paid sick leave at the start of employment.
The accrual rate is one hour for every 30 hours worked.
Max Accrual Cap
Waiting Period Before Use?
None. Employees may use paid sick leave as it is accrued.
Max Use Per Year
Frontloading is allowed. Employers may provide employees with an amount of paid sick leave that meets or exceeds the accrual requirements at the beginning of the year.
Incremental Use Amount Summary
One hour, unless the employer allows paid sick leave to be taken in smaller increments.
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Managing Paid Leave Laws
One challenging part of managing paid leave laws is the constant updates to existing laws, as is the case with the Colorado paid sick leave update.
Plus, officials often release additional guidance after a law has been enacted, forcing employers to monitor updates and potentially make changes to their procedures.
The process of tracking and applying paid leave has never been more complex. And these laws are increasing in number. Though paid sick leave is still the most common, there has been a push from legislators for more leave types, such as paid family and medical leave, or paid leave for any reason (in Illinois and elsewhere).
Check out our County and City Paid Sick Leave guide for more information at the local level.
Finally, it looks as though a Maine paid family and medical leave (PFML) law could be in place soon, which would swell the number of states with PFML to 13. Also, Minnesota recently passed two paid leave laws:
The push for new paid leave legislation will keep employers on their toes in the years to come.
Paid Leave Glossary
Employers with locations in Colorado should ensure they allow for the additional reasons for use under the state’s paid sick leave law, with the new legislation going into effect Aug. 7, 2023.