On January 1, 2022, all employers in Colorado will be required to provide paid sick leave to employees under the Colorado Health Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA). Employers with more than 16 employees have been required to comply since January of this year. The CDLE’s guidance on HFWA paid sick leave can be found here under INFO #6A and #6B.
Although HFWA’s requirements are relatively straightforward, employers should take care to compare their current leave policies with HFWA’s to determine whether their existing leave policies can be considered equivalent to or “more generous” than what HFWA requires. For example, one provision that is often overlooked is that HFWA requires all employees to begin accruing on the first day of work, while many existing policies do not allow new employees to accrue leave until several months have passed. A leave policy that does not allow accrual until several months after hire would therefore fall below the minimum benefits guaranteed by HFWA and would not be compliant.
Remember also that Colorado remains in a public health emergency and that HFWA’s provisions regarding COVID-19 related leave remains in place. These obligations are in addition to paid sick leave and will continue until the state of emergency is lifted.
Please reach out to us at 719-212-2890 or schedule an appointment here if you would like us to help you review your existing leave policies or employee handbook. We look forward to discussing your options with you.