Workers Entitled to Paid Leave in Colorado

 In Employment Law, Overtime Law, Wage Law

Attention Colorado Workers: PAID Health and Family Leave Law Goes Into Effect Soon.  

Workers are entitled to paid leave in Colorado. Under federal labor laws, workers are entitled to take a certain amount of time off of work to handle health and family care matters. Employers are NOT allowed to punish or retaliate against workers for taking such leave and workers are allowed to return to their jobs. But, under federal law, such leave is UNPAID.

That being said, many State labor laws are beginning to require that medical and family leave be PAID. Colorado joined the States that require PAID family and medical leave for workers— Colorado enacted the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (“HFWA”) in late 2020. The HFWA was phased in and, in 2022, has become fully effective for almost ALL employers in Colorado regardless of their number of employees (employees for the Federal government are the only substantial category of non-covered workers under the HFWA).

Paid Leave in Colorado

Generally, a Colorado worker’s right to paid leave begins when their employment begins and Colorado employers must give notice to workers and provide a statement of the amount of paid leave time available to workers. If your Colorado employer is not providing paid leave or giving you notice of your rights and your available paid time, your employer is violating this law. If this is happening to you, call us here at Herrmann Law. We can protect your legal rights. Your employer can be punished. We are employee rights wage and hour litigators fighting to vindicate worker rights. Here is what you should know about the Colorado HFWA.

Under the HFWA, workers are entitled to paid leave in Colorado for approximately six days of paid medical and family leave. More particularly, workers are entitled to 48 hours of paid leave in Colorado. A worker “earns” one hour of paid medical leave for every 30 hours of regular work. As noted, workers are entitled to their paid medical/family leave immediately upon beginning a new job (of course, once they have worked at least 30 hours to earn one hour of paid leave). In terms of roll-over at the end of a year, up to 48 hours can be “rolled over” to the next work year. The amount that must be paid is the worker’s regular rate of pay (but not including overtime, bonuses and other paid time off).

Using Your Paid Leave in Colorado

Colorado workers can use their HFWA paid leave in one-hour increments. HFWA paid leave can be used for a wide range of reasons and applies to both physical and mental health conditions. Examples of lawful use of HFWA paid leave include:

  • When illness, injury or health condition prevents them from working
  • To obtain medical treatment — including preventative care
  • To assist a family member with an illness, injury or other health condition
  • To assist a family member obtain medical treatment
  • When a worker (or family member) has suffered domestic abuse, sexual assault or harassment
  • To provide child care if a public health emergency has been declared and daycare and schools are closed

As noted above, Colorado employers are required to notify their workers of their rights to HFWA paid leave in Colorado. Further, recent regulations have been issued requiring employers to give notice to their employees of the number of hours of HFWA paid leave that the employees have accrued. Further, employers must transfer HFWA paid leave if the business is sold. Workers can ask for HFWA paid leave in any manner such as orally, in writing, or electronically with a reasonable amount of advance notice.

Call the Employee Rights Attorneys at Herrmann Law Today

For more information, call the Employee Rights attorneys at Herrmann Law. If you think that your employer has violated your rights as an employee, call us. We are proven, experienced, employee-focused attorneys representing workers across the United States, including workers in Colorado, in all types of workplace disputes. Use our Online Contact page or call us at (817) 479-9229. We are more than just a law firm for employees – we are an employee’s fiercest advocate, equipping employees with the legal representation needed to achieve the best result possible.


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