Colorado COVID-19 HELP Rules Expand Covered Industries & Uses

NOTE: Please consult our earlier articles summarizing the Colorado HELP Rules and FAQs. Because the COVID-19 situation is dynamic, with new governmental measures each day, employers should consult with counsel for the latest developments and updated guidance on this topic.

On March 26, 2020, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment amended its Health Emergency Leave with Pay (HELP) Rules that require certain employers to provide employees up to four paid sick leave days for a covered COVID-19 reason. The revised rules cover employees under a health care provider's instructions to quarantine or isolate due to a risk of having COVID-19, in addition to employees with flu-like symptoms who are being tested for COVID-19. Additionally, the revised rules apply to employees at retail establishments that sell groceries, in addition to those who work for an employer engaged in the field of leisure and hospitality, food services, child care, education at all levels (including related services, such as but not limited to cafeterias and transportation to, from, and on campuses), home health care (working with elderly, disabled, ill, or otherwise high-risk individuals), operating a nursing home, or operating a community living facility.

Separately, updated FAQ clarify the law covers employees who a health care provider instructs to quarantine or isolate if they miss scheduled work on or after March 26. Employees who missed work before March 26 are ineligible, however, as are those who missed work during this period and work at retail establishments that sell groceries, which the FAQ define as follows:

Places that retail food and beverage merchandise, either fresh or preserved, from fixed point-of-sale locations. The food or beverages can be packaged, and intended for off-site consumption, but may include prepared food or drinks for immediate consumption on the premises. Covered retail establishments may have groceries as only part of their business, but are covered in their entirety. Examples:

  • Grocery Stores
  • Supermarkets
  • Retail Stores with a Grocery Section
  • Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores
  • Specialty Food Stores
  • Convenience Marts
  • Gas Station Stores that sell food or beverages

Employers may require employees to provide documentation to support the employee’s need to take paid sick leave under the HELP rules.

As with the original rules, the revised rules will remain in effect for 30 days or for the duration of the declared state of disaster emergency, whichever is longer, up to a maximum of 120 days after the rules' adoption.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.