Colorado Leave Benefits
Effective January 1, 2021
In late 2020, the state of Colorado implemented three new leave options for state employees effective January 1, 2021. Leave options may not be applicable to all employee types, so due to differing eligibility requirements and entitlement provisions, it is necessary that each request for leave be individually evaluated, and guidance provided on a case-by-case basis. All leaves are paid at the employee’s normal rate of pay.
Healthy Families & Workplaces Act (HFWA)
Starting January 1, 2021, HFWA requires employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees, accrued at one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 48 hours per year.
|Employee Eligibility||Employees who do not otherwise accrue CSU leave are eligible for HFWA (e.g. faculty/admin pro <50%, non-student hourly, student hourly, etc.) immediately upon date of hire.|
1. Having a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition that prevents employee from working;
2. Needing to get preventive medical care, or to get a medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of any mental or physical illness, injury or health condition;
3. Needing to care for a family member who has a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition, or who needs the sort of care listed in reason (2);
4. The employee or family member having been a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or criminal harassment, and needing leave for related medical attention, mental health care or other counseling, victim services (including legal services), or relocation;
5. Due to a public health emergency, a public official having closed either (A) the employee's place of business or (B) the school or place of care of the employee's child, requiring the employee needing to be absent from work to care for the child.
Sick leave is accrued at one hour for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 48 hours per year.
Upon separation, no payout for accrued, unused leave.
|Leave Usage||Leave can be used in 15-minute increments.|
Reasonable documentation can be requested if leave is 4+ consecutive work days, but is not required to take paid leave. May be provided after returning to work. A letter from a health care provider indicating a HFWA-qualifying reason is sufficient (does not need to include specific health or safety information).
Documentation cannot be requested for PHEL.
|TCP Reporting||TCP Reporting Guidance|
Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL)
Signed into law July 14, 2020, the Healthy Families Workplaces Act (HFWA) required the state to provide eligible employees with job-protected, public health emergency leave effective January 1, 2021, for specific reasons related to the pandemic.
PHE emergency leave will continue at least into February 2023, but will continue longer if either the federal or the state PHE declaration is renewed further into 2023.
During the entirety of a public health emergency (until four weeks after the public health emergency ends), full-time employees who are unable to work or telework are eligible for up to 80 hours of PHEL (regular base pay).
|Employee Eligibility||All employees (including hourly) - immediately upon hire.|
1. Needing to self-isolate because the employee is diagnosed or experiencing symptoms of the communicable disease (COVID-19);
2. Seeking or obtaining medical diagnosis, care or treatment, preventative care, or care of such illness (including receiving a vaccine and dealing with vaccine side effects);
3. Being exposed to, or experiencing symptoms of such illness (COVID-19);
4. Being unable to work due to a health condition that may increase susceptibility or risk of such illness;
5. Caring for a child or other family member for reasons 1, 2, or 3 above, or whose school, child care provider, or other care provider is either unavailable, closed, or providing remote instruction due to the public health emergency; or
6. Closure of the temporary employee’s work location, and work cannot be performed remotely.
7. (Effective Nov 11, 2022) New declaration declaration (includes health needs related to not only COVID, but also flu, RSV, and similar respiratory illnesses. (At this time, the additional illnesses are covered for thirty days following the change made on Nov. 11, 2022.)
Up to 80 hours (prorated for part-time) of paid, job-protected leave can be used for any one or all of the reasons during the entirety of a public health emergency.
The addition of the flu, RSV and other respiratory illnesses is inclusive of the original entitlement and does not allow for an additional 80 hours of PHEL.
Employees who exhausted the federal Emergency Public Sick Leave (EPSL) are eligible. PHEL does not extend Family Medical Leave.
|Intermittent Leave||PHEL may be used intermittently subject to supervisory approval.|
Documentation cannot be required. However, employees are required to notify their supervisor of the need for leave as soon as practicable by following the department's normal procedure for requesting leave.
The PHEL Notification Form may be used by employees to notify their supervisor the need for leave, but should not be considered requested documentation.
Record time using Job Code: CO Pub Health Emergency Leave
If the employee is salaried, no Project is selected. If, however, the employee is an hourly, bi-weekly employee, the entry will require a Project. The projects available are assignment numbers—choose the Project corresponding to the assignment number from which the employee is taking leave.
Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML)
PFML provides state classified employees up to 160 hours (updated as of July 1, 2022) of paid leave (prorated for part-time), per rolling 12 month period when employees are eligible and qualify for unpaid job-protected leave under FMLA, including the addition of Safe Leave.
|Employee Eligibility||State classified employees with 12 months of State service.|
PFML runs concurrently, but does not extend FML entitlement.
1. Birth and care of a child or placement and care of an adopted or foster child;
2. Serious health condition of an employee's parent, child (under the age of 18, or an adult child who has a permanent mental or physical disability), spouse or civil union partner for physical care or psychological comfort.
3. Employee's own serious health condition.
4. Active duty military leave when a parent, child, or spouse experiences a qualifying event directly related to being deployed.
5. Military caregiver leave for a parent, child, spouse, or next of kin who suffered a serious injury or illness in the line of duty while on active duty.
6. An employee or an employee's family member is a victim of domestic abuse, stalking, sexual assault, or any other crime related to domestic violence and needs to seek medical attention, mental health care or other counseling, or victim services including legal services or relocation.
Up to 160 hours (prorated for part-time) of paid, job-protected leave can be used for any one or all of the reasons.
(Updated 7/1/2022 to 160 hours)
Employees are required to use PFML prior to any other leave accruals (or leave without pay).
If eligible for STD benefits and leave, PFML must be used during the 30 day waiting period for STD benefits before accrued paid leave.
Should an employee have a situation that qualifies for PHEL, they would receive PHEL first, then PFML.
|Intermittent Leave||Leave may be used intermittently, when medically necessary.|
Must comply with FML requirements and submit a completed and sufficient medical certification.
For Safe Leave, an employee must provide a document from a service provider (e.g. legal or shelter services) if the document can be obtained in reasonable time; otherwise the employee's own affirmation in writing or a legal document (e.g., a restraining order or police report).
Record time using Job Code:SC Paid FML
Entry should not have an accompanying “FMLA” entry created for the same time span.