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Colorado Paid Sick Leave Use Expanded

Effective August 7, 2023, employees can use paid sick leave under Colorado’s Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA) for more than just their own or a family member’s illness or safety issues. Now, paid sick leave can be used to grieve the death of a family member (including related financial and legal matters), to care for a family member when their school or workplace closes (due to inclement weather, loss of power, etc.), or if they need to vacate their home (due to inclement weather, loss of power, etc.).


Action Items

  • Affected employers should consider updating their sick leave policies to set forth the new grounds for which employees may take leave.
  • Employees should be notified of their right to take paid leave under the HFWA, including the reasons for which they can take such leave.
  • Ensure that managers are aware that employees are permitted use paid sick leave for these reasons.
  • Colorado employers should update their sick leave poster on or before the effective date of the new law. Colorado is expected to publish an updated poster regarding these changes to the HFWA in the coming months.


Colorado State Expands its Anti-Discrimination Protections

Effective August 8, 2023, the Colorado Protecting Opportunities and Workers’ Rights Act (POWRA) amends the state’s Anti-Discrimination Act by:

  • Adding marital status to the list of classes protected from discrimination (i.e., race, creed, sex, etc.);
  • Creating new recordkeeping requirements for employers to include duration, type of record, and where to keep personnel or other records involving discrimination complaints or charges;
  • Expanding the definition of harassment to ensure expansive antiharassment protections;
  • Specifying disability discrimination when there is no reasonable accommodation an employer can make; and
  • Strictly regulating nondisclosure agreements when they limit disclosure of discrimination or unfair employment practices.


The legislation also conveyed the state’s public policy as encouraging:

  • Employers to adopt equal employment opportunity policies to prevent and disincentivize illegal harassment and discrimination; and
  • The free reporting, discussion, and exposure of discriminatory or unfair employment practices to better protect employees and discourage these practices.


Attempts to interfere with employees’ ability to communicate about and report alleged discriminatory or unfair employment practices are contrary to this public policy.


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