Stacy Jensen No Comments

All Colorado employers, regardless of size or industry, still must give employees both (1) “accrued” paid sick leave (one hour per 30 hours worked, up to 48 hours a year), and (2) public health emergency (“PHE”) leave (two weeks — 80 hours, or less for part-time employees) under the Colorado Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA). Colorado’s 80-hour PHE leave is ongoing: It continues as long as a federal or state PHE is declared (C.R.S. § 8-13.3-402(9)) — and while state public health orders have been scaled back, currently federal and Colorado PHEs both remain declared.

As of January 8, 2023, the conditions covered by Colorado’s latest PHE declaration are COVID-related only. From November 11, 2022 until January 8, 2023, the conditions covered by Colorado’s PHE declaration at the time include health needs related to not just COVID, but also flu, respiratory syncytial virus (“RSV”), and similar respiratory illnesses. Those with flu or RSV symptoms already were likely covered as having COVID symptoms — so a key impact of this expansion may be that coverage remains even if testing confirms someone has flu or RSV rather than COVID. The expansion beyond COVID doesn’t give employees an extra 80 hours for those conditions, it just means they can use their 80 hours for a broader range of conditions.

This 80-hour PHE leave will continue until four weeks after all applicable PHE declarations end or are suspended. Based on the current emergency declarations, PHE emergency leave will continue at least into May 2023, but will continue longer if either the federal or the state PHE declaration is renewed further into 2023. For more information on paid sick leave, please see the CDLE Division of Labor Standards and Statistics’ HFWA webpage: