On May 26, 2020, Senate Bill 20-205 was introduced in the Colorado Senate, creating the “Healthy Families and Workplaces Act.” As drafted, the Act would require all Colorado employers to provide up to 48 hours of accrued paid sick leave for use in the following circumstances, starting January 1, 2021:
- The employee or their family member has a mental or physical illness injury or health condition; needs a medical diagnosis, care or treatment; or needs to obtain preventive medical care;
- The employee or their family member has been a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or harassment, and needs to be absent from work for purposes related to such crimes;
- Due to a public health emergency, a public official has ordered closure of the employee’s place of business, or the school or place of care of the employee’s child.
- Up to an additional 80 hours for various situations in the case of federal, state, or local public health emergency.
As with all Bills introduced into the Colorado Legislature, there is a process it needs to follow. This summary is based on its current form however we anticipate some changes.
Other noteworthy details of the proposed Act include:
- Employees would become eligible on the first day of employment, and less than full-time employees would accrue paid sick leave on a pro-rated basis at a rate of 1 hour per 30 hours worked, up to 48 hours per year.
- An employee’s earned sick time must be reinstated if rehired within 12 months.
- The definition of immediate family member includes “a person who resides with the employee and has resided with the employee for more than 6 months”.
- The Act does not require reimbursement of unused time upon separation.
In its current form, the Act would prohibit employers from requiring workers to disclose details relating to the reason for taking sick leave as a condition for using sick leave. If confidential medical information is obtained by the employer, it must be maintained separate from other personnel records, and such information must not be disclosed unless with the affected employee’s consent. Records associated with an employee’s hours worked, paid sick leave accrued, and paid sick leave used must be maintained for three years. Employers would also be prohibited from requiring employees to search for or find a replacement worker, and from retaliating against employees exercising their rights under the proposed law.
The Act grants authority to the Division of Labor Standards and Statistics in Colorado’s Department of Labor and Employment to adopt rules and create posters and notices that contain information for employers and employees.
The Bill status and history can be accessed here: Senate Bill 20-205. We will continue to monitor the advancement of the Bill through the legislature and provide important updates to through our newsletter and breaking news emails. To sign up for our newsletter, click here.