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New Colorado Law Mandating Paid Sick Leave to Take Effect Jan. 1, 2021

Posted by: Karen Booher on July 5th, 2020

On June 16, 2020, the Colorado State Legislature passed the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act, mandating that Colorado companies provide paid sick leave in Colorado. This Act becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2021 for employers with 16 or more employees. For employers with 15 or fewer employees, the Act takes effect on Jan. 1, 2022.

The leave will be available to use immediately and will accrue for every employee at a schedule set by the state unless the company provides a more beneficial schedule for the employee.

Some provisions of the Colorado Act are as follows:

Paid sick leave can be used for paid sick days for illness, injury, or preventative care for the employee or their family member. It also covers specific circumstances involving domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Additionally, the act provides a one-time allotment of two weeks of additional paid sick leave during a public health emergency. Unused paid sick leave may be counted towards the two weeks. Upon termination of employment, unused paid sick leave does not have to be paid out.

While this new legislation won’t begin to take effect for Colorado employers until 2021, understanding how this new law will affect your company’s operations is important. Discuss it with your staff to ensure they understand their rights under this law. Like other statutes affecting employee rights, there is both a notice and posting requirement.


 Samuels, Donald. “Colorado Joins Growing List of Jurisdictions Mandating Paid Sick Leave.The National Law Review, 22 June 2020.

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