Public Health Emergency (PHE) Leave Relating to COVID-19 Ends June 8, 2023
The Healthy Families and Workplace Act (HFWA) PHE leave continues until four weeks after all applicable PHE declarations end or are suspended. As of May 11, 2023, all applicable PHEs relating to COVID-19 (both federal and state) have ended. Therefore June 8, 2023, is the last day of PHE leave that Colorado employees with remaining COVID-related PHE leave are entitled to take.
Paid Sick Leave Requirement Under HFWA is Still Permanently in Effect
Although the PHE leave portion of HFWA expires on June 8th, the Accrued Paid Sick Leave requirement of HFWA will continue to remain in effect.
Since January 1, 2021, Colorado employers with more than 15 employees have been required to provide one hour of paid leave per 30 hours worked, up to 48 hours per year. Starting January 1, 2022, both large and small employers have had the same accrued leave responsibilities.
Accrued leave is usable for a wide range of health and safety needs, not just COVID-related, including:
- Any mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition that prevents work;
- Diagnosis, care, or treatment of such conditions;
- Preventive care (including vaccination);
- Needs due to suffering domestic violence, sexual abuse, or criminal harassment; or caring for family with such conditions or needs.
Employers can require documentation for accrued paid sick leave (not for COVID-related PHE leave), but only for absences of four or more consecutive days, and employees can provide the documentation after the leave ends.
Paid leave in a PTO policy can satisfy HFWA, if it covers all the same conditions or needs, at the same pay rate, and with no tougher requirements (documentation, notice, etc.) than HFWA.
- Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, May 2023 Employer Update, 5/23/2023.
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