December 3, 2021

Volume XI, Number 337

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The Public Health Emergency Supplemental Leave Requirement in Colorado Is Not Over

The pandemic may be waning, but the requirement for Colorado employers to provide supplemental public health emergency leave to employees under certain COVID-19–related circumstances continues. On October 15, 2021, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra announced another extension of the nationwide COVID-19 public health emergency, effective October 18, 2021. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) first issued a COVID-19 public health emergency declaration on January 31, 2020, and HHS has renewed it since then—on April 21, 2020, July 23, 2020, October 2, 2020, January 7, 2021, April 15, 2021, and July 19, 2021.

Colorado’s Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA) requires employers to supplement paid sick leave in certain circumstances in the event that a “public health emergency” is declared “until four weeks after the official termination or suspension of the public health emergency.”

Under the HFWA, a “public health emergency” is one “[] declared by a federal, state, or local public health agency,” such as the Department of Health and Human Services.

HHS public health emergency declarations remain in effect for 90 days unless the secretary determines the emergency no longer exists or the secretary extends a declaration. October 18, 2021, COVID-19 public health emergency renewal will remain in effect until January 16, 2022, unless it is renewed again or the secretary determines COVID-19 is no longer a public health emergency.

Thus, if the COVID-19 public health emergency declaration remains in effect until “the official termination or suspension of public health emergency” on January 16, 2022, the HFWA requirement for supplemental paid sick leave would not expire until February 13, 2022.

© 2021, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 292
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About this Author

Abigail S. Wallach Associate Employment Law, Litigation
Associate

Abbey Wallach represents employers of all sizes on all matters impacting their employees under federal and state law, including compliance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as well as breach of restrictive covenant and trade secret litigation. Abbey conducts investigations; handles charges of discrimination, harassment and retaliation; and defends any ensuing litigation in state and federal court. In addition,...

1303-764-6800
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