Colorado’s Public Health Emergency (PHE) Leave – Reduced Back to COVID Only Reasons Since Jan. 8, 2023
From November 11, 2022 – January 8, 2023, Colorado’s PHE Leave under the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA) was extended to include not only COVID-19, but also other illnesses such as the flu, RSV, and other similar respiratory illnesses.
As of January 8, 2023, the conditions covered by Colorado’s latest PHE declaration are back to COVID-related only.
Important: Employers cannot require documentation from employees to show that requested PHE leave is for PHE-related needs.
How Long Does PHE Leave Last?
The 80-hour PHE leave will continue until four weeks after all applicable PHE declarations end or are suspended. Based on the current emergency declarations, PHE emergency leave will continue at least into May 2023 but will continue longer if either the federal or the state PHE declaration is renewed further into 2023.
Refresher of Acceptable Uses of PHE Leave
PHE leave is usable for a range of PHE-related needs, not just for confirmed cases. PHE-related needs include:
- Symptoms of COVID, such as fever or chills, cough, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion, or runny nose
- Quarantining or isolating due to exposure
- Testing for COVID
- Vaccination and its side effects
- Inability to work due to health conditions that may increase susceptibility or risk of COVID
- Needs to care for family (illness, school closure, etc.)
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