Important Reminders About 3 Laws Affecting Colorado Employers in 2021
Throughout 2020, there were many new laws passed affecting employers, both statewide and federally. Some of the Colorado Acts become effective Jan. 1, 2021. A federal Act, in response to the pandemic, expires at the end of 2020. Here’s a recap and reminder of some important pieces of legislation affecting Coloradoans now.
Paid Sick Leave – Effective Jan. 1, 2021
Due to the passing of the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act in June 2020, starting on Jan. 1, 2021, Colorado employers with 16 or more employees are required to provide paid sick leave to their employees. Employers with 15 or fewer employees won’t be required to do so until Jan. 1, 2022.
According to the Colorado Act, upon hire, employees will begin accruing paid sick leave at the rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked, up to 48 hours. Paid sick leave carries over year to year up to a maximum of 48 hours. Read our July 2020 blog here for more details.
Equal Pay for Equal Work Act – Effective Jan. 1, 2021
Effective Jan. 1, 2021, Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (EPEWA) goes into effect, with provisions on pay history, pay transparency, and pay equity. Read our October 2020 blog here for more details, but some important things to know are:
- Pay History. Employers cannot seek the wage rate history of job applicants or rely on a prior pay rate or salary to determine a current pay rate or salary. Therefore, employment applications and interviewing questions will need to change.
- Pay Transparency. Employers are required to make reasonable efforts to inform their current employees of all opportunities for promotion, including the pay range for the job openings, and employers cannot prohibit employees from disclosing their wage information.
- Pay Equity. It is illegal for employers to pay an employee of one sex less than an employee of another sex for substantially similar work (with certain exceptions).
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) – Expiring Dec. 31, 2020
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law on Mar. 18, 2020, as a relief package designed to aid U.S. citizens during this unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic (read our March 2020 blog here).
All leave benefits under the two FFCRA provisions – Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave – were created by a time-limited statutory authority and are set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020. Employers will not receive reimbursement from the federal government under the FFCRA for leave taken after Dec. 31. The FFCRA does not require employers to pay out unused EPSL and EFMLA to employees; any unused balances will expire on Jan. 1, 2021, unless the FFCRA is extended or otherwise amended.
As schools begin to close for winter break, employers should be mindful of the employee eligibility requirements for FFCRA leave. For example, an employee is not eligible for FFCRA leave if the leave request is based solely on a school closure due to winter vacation or the end of an academic semester, because these are not Covid-19-related reasons.
Off To The Races For 2021
Make sure you have the right team in place for the new year ahead. Call J. Kent Staffing at 303-777-7734 for help!