New Colorado Laws for 2021

Whew! There is a lot going on in the state of Colorado that affects business owners whose businesses are located here, or who have one or more employee here. There are also some requirements that businesses will need to abide by if they are recruiting candidates out of Colorado.

As a brief summary…

We were notified early in 2020 that Colorado had passed the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, but that it wouldn’t go into effect until 2021. The Act was passed in order to strengthen pay equity among genders (and other protected classes) and has quite a few requirements for employers in order to be in compliance. Click here to read more about the Act. This one will affect employers outside of Colorado if they have any employees in Colorado, or recruit candidates out of Colorado.

Colorado signed the Healthy Families & Workplaces Act back in July, which was an expansion of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act in response to COVID-19. This law required employers to provide paid leave to employees for COVID-related reasons (separate from an employee’s normal sick time benefit and more robust than the federal FFCRA benefits). Phase II goes into effect January 1, 2021 and affects all employers with 16 or more employees. (Phase III will be implemented in 2022, requiring all employers to abide by the mandate, regardless of size). There are many things that employers need to put into place in order to be in compliance with this law. You can read more here.

Finally, Colorado voters have approved the Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act that was on the most recent ballot. This will affect all private employers as the law requires every private employer in Colorado, regardless of the number of employees, to allow eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of leave in connection with a serious health condition or that of a family member, birth or adoption, or in connection with certain military service. For pregnancy-related issues, employees would be entitled to take an additional four weeks of paid leave. The law also includes paid “Safe Leave”, which employees are entitled to take related to domestic violence, stalking, and similar issues. These paid leaves are separate from FMLA – some run concurrently with FML, some do not. We are awaiting final details of the law, but employers should start taking steps in order to be in compliance on the effective date.

All of these laws and regulations can have significant impact on all Colorado employers (or employers who have employees in Colorado). To learn more about what actions your organization needs to take, sign up for our blog posts and be on the lookout for more detailed information.

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