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Thursday, 18 June 2020 17:10

Colorado Paid Sick Leave Bill Passes the Legislature

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After Colorado’s Legislature returned in late May to one of the most unusual legislative sessions in recent history, a flurry of bills was introduced and passed in an abrupt end to the legislative cycle. Among the approved pieces of legislation was SB-205 or “Healthy Families and Workplaces Act” requiring new paid sick leave rules for Colorado employers. 

 Before the legislature’s unprecedented two-and-a-half-month closure due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we reported on a proposed paid family and medical leave act (FAMLI) which was anticipated to be introduced this session. This would have required between eight and twelve weeks of paid time off for employees to care for themselves or a loved one. Sponsors of that bill, facing an abbreviated legislative session and a gutted state budget due to COVID-19, ultimately decided not to introduce the bill after all. Instead, voters may be able to decide on a similar proposal which could appear on this November’s ballot.

Though a broader paid family and medical leave requirement is off the legislative table for the time being, Colorado lawmakers did pass the above mentioned SB-20-205 requiring paid sick leave to be offered to employees, with the following features:

  • Beginning January 1, 2021, employers with 16 or more employees must offer every employee (including part-time and temporary employees) at a minimum:

    • At least one hour of paid sick leave accrued for every 30 hours worked, up to 48 hours per year

    • These paid sick hours can be used immediately once they are accrued (there is no waiting period to accrue or use the leave)

    • Employees must be able to roll over unused paid sick leave year over year up to at least a 48-hour maximum

  • Beginning in 2022, this requirement will be extended to employers with 15 or fewer employees

  • Employees may use their sick leave for their own illness or injury, preventive care, or to care for a family member. Employees are also able to use this time for certain circumstances involving domestic or sexual assault

  • Employers may require documentation for the leave if four or more consecutive days are taken

  • Employers are not required to pay-out unused paid sick leave upon an employee’s termination

  • Employers which already offer paid sick leave (or a combined sick leave/PTO policy) do not need to provide additional paid sick leave, but must ensure that their current paid sick leave policy is at least as generous as these minimum requirements

  • During public health emergencies, employers are also required to make available a one-time allotment of two weeks of additional paid sick leave to all employees (for part-time, this would be equal to the number of hours actually scheduled for, or on average worked in a 14-day period)

  • Details of the rights provided by this law must be conspicuously posted and made available to all employees

  • Employers are required to maintain logs of employee hours worked and paid sick leave taken for a minimum of two years

Even though these bills do not directly relate to employee benefits, we try to cover bills related to Total Rewards or Human Capital Management, as they affect all our clients. We will be keeping an eye on this piece of legislation as it progresses towards implementation. Assuming the bill is signed by Governor Polis, we expect there will be further clarification from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment later this year.

For additional information on the legislation, visit:


If you have any questions about these new rules, or how they may impact your organization, please reach out to your Fall River Account Manager!

Read 1392 times Last modified on Friday, 11 September 2020 09:59