Colorado Paid Sick Leave

October 31, 2020 by Allyson Rodahl 

On July 14, 2020, Colorado passed the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA), joining an increasing number of states that require employers to provide paid sick leave to all employees, including part-time.  Think your small business is exempt?  Think again.  On January 1, 2021, employers with 16 or more employees will be subject to the new Act.  As of January 1, 2022, the Act applies to all employers, even those with 15 or fewer employees.  Payroll Vault has the expertise and resources to help your small business track this mandatory paid sick leave, freeing you up to manage your business during these tumultuous times.




1) Applies to all employees, including part-time.  Employees earn one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 48 hours annually.  


2) Accrual of sick leave starts on the employee’s first day of work; the employee can use sick leave as soon as accrued and in hourly increments.


3) Employees can carry over unused paid sick leave to the next year; employers can limit use of paid sick leave to 48 hours per year.  Unused paid sick leave does not have to be paid out at termination of employment.


4) Employees that return to an employer within six months of leaving must have previously unused accrued sick leave reinstated unless it was paid out at original termination.


5) Employers currently offering a PTO or paid sick leave policy that meets or exceeds the minimum sick leave accrual requirements are not required to offer additional paid sick leave.


6) For the period 7/15/2020 thru 12/31/2020, all Colorado employers are required to offer the FFCRA emergency paid sick leave, regardless of size of employer.  


7) Starting in 2021 (2022 for employers with 15 or less employees), Colorado requires employers to offer two weeks of paid sick leave to full-time employees (pro-rated for part-time employees) during a public health emergency, such as COVID 19.


In 2020, there have been significant changes to federal & state payroll rules and regulations.  With the business interruptions caused by COVID 19, have you had time to keep up with all these payroll changes?  Are you sure your small business is compliant?  Your local Payroll Vault acts as your payroll compliance partner to take the burden of accruing and tracking paid sick leave off your shoulders and can help you obtain payroll tax credits you may be eligible for.  Call us today and find out how we can help!