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Colorado Extends Public Health Emergency Paid Sick Leave Coverage into 2022

On January 16, 2022, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared the extension of the nationwide COVID-19 public health emergency. Unless the HHS plans to extend the public health emergency once more, the current extension is set to expire as of April 16, 2022. So, what does this have to do with Colorado employers?

Ultimately, Colorado employers who fall under the requirements of the Colorado Healthy Families and Workplace Act (HFWA) may be subject to additional obligations due to the HHS’s extension of the COVID-19 public health emergency. One such obligation would entail Colorado employers having to continue to provide paid sick leave for COVID-19 related matters until four weeks after the official termination/suspension date of the federal public health emergency. So, rather than ending the paid sick leave benefit at the time of the tentative federal extension expiration, Colorado employers would be required to provide benefits until May 14, 2022.

In response to the federal extension decision, the Colorado Division of Labor and Employment (CDLE) has issued updated guidance affirming continued paid sick leave requirements for employers across the state. Furthermore, the CDLE has also stated that upon the official expiration of the federal public health emergency, they will “update the webpage immediately” to reflect “when the current public health emergency ends and the four week end period begins.”

Next Steps for Employers

Employers should continue to provide paid sick leave for COVID-19 related matters and should review the updated guidance from the CDLE in response to any updates that may be issued as a result of HHS further extending the public health emergency.

HR Works will continue to monitor this topic and provide updated information as needed.

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.