In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Colorado lawmakers have come up with another employer mandate.
Beginning Jan. 1, employers with more than 15 workers will have to allow employees to accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they work. Workers can accrue up to 48 hours of sick leave a year.
Employers with 15 or fewer employees will have to offer the accrual starting in 2022.
The legislation behind this new requirement is called the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act. Here’s a look at some of the details:
Under the law, an employee:
- Begins accruing paid sick leave when their employment begins;
- may use paid sick leave as it is accrued; and
- may carry forward and use in subsequent calendar years paid sick leave that is not used in the year in which it is accrued.
Employees may use accrued paid sick leave to be absent from work for the following reasons:
- The employee has a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; needs a medical diagnosis, care, or treatment related to such illness, injury, or condition; or needs to obtain preventive medical care;
- the employee needs to care for a family member who has a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; needs a medical diagnosis, care, or treatment related to such illness, injury, or condition; or needs to obtain preventive medical care;
- the employee or family member has been the victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or harassment and needs to be absent from work for purposes related to such crime; or
- a public official has ordered the closure of the school or place of care of the employee’s child or of the employee’s place of business due to a public health emergency, necessitating the employee’s absence from work.
Employers that already provide comparable paid leave to their employees and allow employees to use that leave as permitted under the act are not required to provide additional paid sick leave to their employees.
Companies with operations in other states will want to take a close look at their paid-sick-leave benefits to ensure they’re in compliance with the laws of every jurisdiction in which they operate.