Colorado Healthy Families and Workplaces Act:
What is the law?
The “Healthy Families and Workplaces Act” (the Act) was created by the passage of Senate Bill 20-205 on June 17th, 2020, and was signed into law on July 15th, 2020 by Governor Jared Polis. The bill requires employers to provide Paid Sick Leave (PSL) to employees to seek medical attention or help if they were a victim of certain crimes, assist a family member that needs medical attention, or care for a child in specific situations.
In addition to accrued PSL, the Act extends the requirement for an employer to provide its employees an additional amount of PSL for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic in the amounts and for the purposes specified in the federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) for the remainder of the year and during any future public health emergency.
Main characteristics of PSL—an employee:
- Begins accruing PSL on the day employment begins in the amount of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked up to 48 hours per year
- May use PSL as it is accrued with no waiting period
- May carry forward and use up to 48-hours of PSL in a subsequent calendar year, however, each employee is limited to using only 48 hours of PSL per year
Future Public Health Emergencies:
- On the date, a public health emergency is declared each employees’ PSL shall be supplemented as necessary to ensure that each full-time employee, that works 40-hours per week, can use at least 80-hours of PSL and each part-time employee, that works less than 40-hours per week, can use an amount equal to the greater of the employee’s average hours worked or scheduled hours over a two week period
- An employee’s accrued but unused balance of PSL can be counted towards the supplemental balance.
Employers that currently provide equivalent paid leave to their employees and allow employees to use that leave as permitted under the act are not required to provide additional paid leave to their employees.
Employers must retain records documenting, by employee, the hours worked, PSL accrued, and PSL used and make such records available to the division to monitor compliance with the act.
Every employer is required to supply each employee with a written notice and display a poster in a conspicuous and accessible location that notifies employees that they are entitled to PSL and that employers cannot retaliate against an employee for requesting or using PSL.
What is the rollout timing?
Beginning January 1, 2021, the act requires all employers in Colorado to provide PSL to their employees, accrued at one hour of PSL for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 48 hours.
For the remainder of 2020, employers are required to provide each of their employees PSL to take for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic in the amounts and for the purposes specified in the federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
What are the penalties if not followed?
Under the Act an employee is able to bring a civil action to recover back wages for unpaid PSL and employers could also be assessed a penalty if the court finds that the violation was willful.
How can RSI assist?
Nothing in the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act prohibits an employer from providing more PSL to employees. Whether your business offers a more flexible paid time off plan or just needs to track Colorado’s PSL requirements RSI can help.
Our proprietary tracking system will report on each employees’ pay stub the amount of accrued PSL for the pay period, the balance of accrued PSL for the benefit year, the amount of used PSL for the benefit year, and the remaining balance for the benefit year.
RSI also offers an aggregate report that displays PSL information for all employees as well as an individual report detailing the accrual of PSL for each employee. RSI will setup the necessary web capabilities for existing Colorado clients to automatically start tracking hours and accruing PSL beginning January 1, 2020.