On Tuesday, March 10th, Colorado Governor Jared Polis declared a state of disaster emergency in effort to curb the outbreak of COVID-19.  In response, on March 11th, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment issued the Colorado Health Emergency Leave with Pay (“Colorado HELP”) Rules, 7 CCR 1103-10 (Adopted March 11, 2020) to temporarily entitle certain employees to paid sick days in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Colorado HELP rules will remain in effect for 30 days, or longer if the state of emergency declared by Governor Polis continues.  Colorado employers should be aware of these emergency rules to ensure compliance.

Under Colorado HELP, employers in specifically defined industries must provide up to four days of paid sick leave to employees with flu-like symptoms who are being tested for coronavirus, COVID-19.  If the employee receives a negative test result, the paid leave ends.  Employers subject to the Colorado HELP rules include those in the following industries:

  • Leisure and Hospitality
  • Food Services
  • Child care
  • Education, including transportation, food service, and related work at educational establishments
  • Home health, if working with elderly, disabled, ill, or otherwise high-risk individuals
  • Nursing homes
  • Community living facilities

Workers are covered under the rules regardless of rate of pay or method (hourly, weekly, piece rate etc.).  The daily pay during this leave is either the worker’s established daily pay rate, or if the worker’s pay fluctuates, the average daily pay rate for the past month.

It is important to note, if an employer already provides the paid leave necessary to meet these rules’ requirements, the employer does not need to provide additional leave.  However, if an employer does not already provide enough paid sick leave to comply with these rules, it will have to provide additional paid sick leave to meet the rules’ requirements.  Further, if an employee has already exhausted any paid leave allotted by the employer, but then has flu-like symptoms and is being tested for COVID-19, he or she is entitled to the additional paid sick days the rules provide.

If you have any questions about this update, please contact Kendra Smith, smithk@hallevans.com.

A copy of the Colorado HELP rules is available on the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s website.

On its website, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has also provided contact information for employer or employee questions on Colorado HELP:

Call: (303) 318-8441
Email: cdle_labor_standards@state.co.us