Update on HB20-1415 and SB20-205

HB20-1415 and SB20-205, introduced in the 2020 session of the Colorado General Assembly, took effect upon the Governor’s signature in the last couple of weeks.

Some provisions of SB20-205 and the entirety of HB20-1415 place statutory requirements on employers (both public and private) in the context of the continuing COVID-19 public health crisis.

The Colorado Division of Labor Standards and Statistics (Division) developed and recently posted Interpretive Notice & Formal Opinions (“INFOs”) #5 and #6A to help employers (and principals) take actions in the near term to implement these laws. All INFOs, including these, are available online. Copies of INFOs, and the required employer poster/information, are available in Spanish at this site too.

HB20-1415

Short summary: HB20-1415 prohibits a “principal” (a “principal” is any employers and any entity that contracts with 5 or more independent contractors) from retaliating against a worker who raises reasonable concerns regarding health or safety during a public health emergency. A worker can file a complaint of retaliation or interference with the Division. After filing with the Division and the Division does not investigate, then the worker may file a claim in court against the principal for lost pay, for reinstatement, and/or for fines/penalties.

What actions does my district need to take to implement HB20-1415?

  • Please review INFO #5 with your team (which could include your managers, your HR professionals, and your legal counsel) to best understand how this law will interface with your current practices and what steps your district will need to take towards implementation
  • One specific implementation step that a district/principal needs to take is to post notice of a worker’s rights in a conspicuous location on its premises. The Division’s poster indicates that the poster can be shared with remote workers electronically. INFO #5 provides more details about how a principal can meet this requirement.

SB20-205 (through 12/31/2020)

Short summary of provisions of SB20-205 applying for the remainder of CY2020: SB20-205 has been in the news for requiring that employers provide at least 48 hours of paid leave – and those provisions take effect on January 1, 2021 (for 16+ employees) and January 1, 2022 (for 15 or fewer employees). Please see INFO #6B for more details on how to implement in those future periods. However, SB20-205 also takes immediate effect for COVID-19 leave requirements though the end of the calendar year 2020.

For the remainder of 2020, employers of any size (both public and private) must provide up to two weeks of paid leave to employees in three (3) categories relating to COVID-19: having COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; being ordered by a government agent, or advised by a health provider, to quarantine or isolate due to a risk of COVID-19; or taking care of someone else due to COVID-19, including caring for another person ordered to quarantine/isolate or for a child whose school, place of care, or child care is closed. An employee can file a complaint with the Division; or, the employee can make a written demand to the employer. An employee making a written demand must wait 14 days, but thereafter may file a claim in court against the employer for lost pay, for reinstatement, or for fines/penalties.

What actions does my district need to take to implement SB20-205 for the remainder of CY2020?

  • Please review INFO #6A with your team (which could include your managers, your HR professionals, and your legal counsel) to best understand how this law will interface with your current practices and what steps your district will need to take towards implementation.
  • One specific implementation step that a district/employer needs to take is to notify employees in writing of the right to take this leave. INFO #6A provides how an employer can meet these requirements, including by providing information to employees by electronic transmittal.