Expanded Reasons for Colorado’s Employee Paid Sick Leave – Starting Aug. 7, 2023
On June 2, 2023, Colorado’s Governor Jared Polis signed into law Senate Bill 23-017 that expands the reasons employees can use paid sick leave under Colorado’s Healthy Families & Workplaces Act (HFWA). The expansion now includes paid leave for qualifying bereavement and natural disaster-related reasons.
Original Qualifying Reasons (Before SB 23-017):
- A mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition that prevents work;
- Obtaining preventive medical care (including a vaccination), or a medical diagnosis, care, or treatment, of any mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition;
- Obtaining medical attention, mental health care or other counseling, legal or other victim services, or relocation required as a result of being a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or criminal harassment;
- Care for a family member who has a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition, or who needs the sort of care listed in categories 1-3; or
- Closure by a public official of the employee’s place of business or the employee’s child’s school or place of care due to a public health emergency (as defined by the law), requiring the employee to care for the child.
Expanded Reasons for Paid Sick Leave Under the Amended Law:
- To grieve, attend funeral services or a memorial, or deal with financial and legal matters that arise after the death of a family member;
- To care for a family member whose school or place of care has been closed due to inclement weather, loss of power, loss of heating, loss of water, or other unexpected events; or
- To evacuate the employee’s place of residence due to inclement weather, loss of power, loss of heating, loss of water, or other unexpected events.
The new law takes effect on August 7, 2023. Colorado employers must notify employees of their right to take paid leave under the HFWA, including the reasons for which employees can take such leave. Therefore, now is the time to update your company’s sick leave policies before the effective date of the new law.
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