Colorado HFWA Paid Leave Requirements
Requirement for COVID Public Health Emergency Leave Ends June 8, 2023
Although the federal COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) expired on May 11, 2023, Colorado employers are required to provide COVID sick pay until June 8, 2023 (four weeks after the end of all applicable PHE declarations). All CO employers have been required to provide up to 80 hours of PHE paid leave for COVID-related absences since January 1, 2021.
HFWA Paid Leave Overview
As of January 1, 2022, all Colorado employers -- regardless of size -- are required to provide all employees with accrued leave and public health emergency leave (PHE) per the Colorado Healthy Families & Workplaces Act (HFWA). These paid leave requirements apply to all workers -- full-time, part-time, salaried, tipped, exempt, non-exempt seasonal, temporary, etc.
In general, all employees accrue 1 hour of HFWA leave per 30 hours worked (capped at 48 hours per calendar year). Hours start accruing their first day of work and they may use this leave as soon as hours are available for qualifying safety- and health-related reasons. Also effective on their hire date, all employees are allotted up to 80 hours of PHE leave for absences related to a declared public health emergency.
NOTE for ASAP Payroll Clients: These changes are not automatically implemented; it's the employer's responsibility to ensure recordkeeping compliance with HFWA requirements. In terms of payroll processing and tracking PTO, ASAP can help in a variety of ways based on your needs and preferences:
- We can track earnings codes for any type of paid time off; simply report the hours with each payroll by type, which will then be printed accordingly on the employee's pay stub -- no additional administrative fees
- We can track time off-accruals and balances in our payroll system for you -- administrative fees apply, per payroll and set up (contact us for details)
HFWA Accrued Paid Leave
Starting their first day of work, all employees accrue 1 hour of HFWA leave per 30 hours worked (capped at 48 hours per calendar year). Employees may use this leave as soon as it's accrued for qualifying safety- and health-related reasons.
- Employers can elect an accrual method of tracking or provide a lump sum at the beginning of each year
- If you are an ASAP payroll client, ask your account manager about receiving a copy of our Sick Leave Policy Template (one-time fee applies)
Refer to CDLE INFO #6 for a comprehensive overview of HFWA paid leave requirements.
HFWA Public Health Emergency (PHE) Leave
Effective on their hire date, all employees are allotted up to 80 hours of PHE leave for absences related to a declared public health emergency. Part-time employees are eligible for PHE leave based on a 2-week average of hours worked. This leave is available for 4 weeks following the end or suspension of applicable Federal and State PHE declarations. The federal public health emergency related to COVID-19 expired e on May 11, 2023. Per HFWA requirements, PHE leave remains in effect until June 8, 2023 (four weeks following the end of the federal PHE).
Colorado’s PHE declaration in November 2022 that extended qualified PHE leave to include flu, RSV, and similar respiratory illnesses, ended January 8, 2023.
- If you have a current PTO policy that covers this requirement, employees can use their current sick policy balances. Update your employee handbooks to reflect the expanded language and illnesses. (ASAP clients have access to an employee handbook builder through our Online HR Support Center.)
- When an employee's reason for leave qualifies under both HFWA accrued leave and PHE leave, the employee gets to use their PHE leave first.
- PHE leave is usable for a range of related needs, not just for confirmed cases. Employers cannot require documentation from employees to confirm that leave is PHE-related.
- Payroll tax credits for COVID-19 paid leave allowed under FFCRA and ARPA ended Sept. 30, 2021.
Employees may use PHE leave when they need to:
- Self-isolate because they have symptoms of or have been diagnosed with the communicable illness that caused the public health emergency;
- Seek a medical diagnosis, care (including preventive care such as vaccination), or treatment because they are experiencing symptoms of the illness that caused the public health emergency;
- Be excluded from work (by the employer or a governmental health official) because they were exposed to or have symptoms of the illness that caused the public health emergency;
- Stay out of work because they have a health condition that may increase their susceptibility or risk of the illness that caused the public health emergency; or
- Care for their family member in #1, 2, or 3 above, or whose school, childcare provider, or other care provider is unavailable, closed, or providing remote instruction because of the public health emergency.
Disclaimer: This information is provided as a self-help tool and does not constitute legal or financial advice. Laws, regulations and lending products are changing daily and decisions as to whether or how to use this information and/or what actions to take in response to the COVID19 Pandemic are solely those of the employer. The providers of this information disclaim any and all responsibility and liability for its accuracy, completeness or fitness for your particular business purposes.