Advisory for Healthy Families and Workplace Act
Small Colorado farms and ranches were surprised to learn they do not have a year to prepare for one section of the state’s new Healthy Families and Workplace Act.
The legislation is written in two parts. The first is a paid sick leave program. (that provides up to 48 hours of sick leave to employees) The second part of the HFWA relates to supplemental leave during public health emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides up to 80 hours of paid leave for employees who have to deal with a COVID-19 illness themselves or in the family. It also provides paid leave for childcare and those with underlying health conditions during a public health emergency.
Attorney Kevin Paul of Range Law tells Colorado Ag Today that the wording of the legislation led small companies with fewer than 16 workers, to believe they had until January 1 2022 to comply with both parts of the Act.
But the state released an advisory with the new year.
Paul: “Much to our surprise it indicated that while the January first, 2022 effective date is indeed the effective date for smaller employers with respect to part one on the act, the part that relates to paid sick leave, it is not the effective date with respect to part two, that is the supplemental leave that relates to the pandemic.
All employers in Colorado, regardless of size are required to provide up to 80 hours of paid leave for employees who have coronavirus-related needs.
The Supplemental Leave requirement lasts until 4 weeks after a public health emergency is rescinded by the state.