Effective August 7, 2023, Colorado employees will be able to use leave under the Colorado Healthy Families and Workplaces Act for bereavement, to care for family members whose school or place of care is closed due to certain unexpected occurrences, or to evacuate from the employee's residence due to certain unforeseen occurrences, in addition to the already existing reasons for use. Employers should ensure their policies comply with the Colorado law prior to the August 7 effective date.
On June 2, 2023, Governor Jared Polis signed into law Senate Bill 23-017 (SB 23-017) which amended the Colorado Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA) and thereby expanded its covered reasons for use of paid sick leave. Effective August 7, employees in Colorado may use leave for the following additional reasons:
To grieve, attend funeral services or a memorial, or deal with financial and legal matters that arise after the death of a covered family member;
To care for a family member whose school or place of care has been closed due to inclement weather, loss of power, loss of heating, loss of water, or other unexpected occurrence or event that results in the closure of the family member’s school or place of care; or
To evacuate the employee’s place of residence due to inclement weather, loss of power, loss of heating, loss of water, or other unexpected occurrence or event that results in the need to evacuate the employee’s residence.
These are in addition to the already existing reasons for use, which you can read more about in our prior alert here.
Employers should update any Colorado HFWA policies, postings, or other related documents to reflect these new reasons for use.
Also, as a reminder, although the HFWA’s Public Health Emergency Leave mandate has no sunset date, as of June 2023, employees are no longer able to use the Public Health Emergency Leave due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. See our prior alert here for more information.
As the paid leave landscape continues to change, companies should reach out to their Seyfarth contact for solutions and recommendations on addressing compliance with the Colorado HFWA and sick leave requirements generally. To stay up to date on paid leave developments, click here to sign up for Seyfarth’s Paid Sick Leave mailing list.