On March 11, 2020, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) published emergency rules, known as the Colorado Health Emergency Leave with Pay (Colorado HELP/HELP), that temporarily require employers in certain industries to provide a small amount of paid sick leave (PSL) to employees with flu-like symptoms while awaiting COVID-19 test results. (See 7 CCR 1103-10.)
The HELP rules require employers to provide up to 4 calendar days of PSL to an employee with flu-like symptoms who is being tested for COVID-19 in select industries, including leisure and hospitality; food services; child care; education (including transportation, food service, and related work at educational establishments); home health (if working with elderly, disabled, ill, or otherwise high-risk individuals); and nursing homes and community living facilities.
Initially, PSL under HELP was supposed to end when an employee received a negative COVID-19 test result. However, the HELP rules were amended on March 16, 2020 (and again on April 3, 2020), and now extend the leave period for employees in quarantine/isolation or under instruction from a healthcare provider or due to the risk of having COVID-19. The amended rules also include retail establishments that sell groceries (as of March 26, 2020) and food and beverage manufacturers (as of April 3, 2020) as covered employers under HELP rules.
The HELP requirements are not on top of sick leave an employer already provides and do not cover wage replacement should an employee test positive and require quarantine resulting in lost work time and wages. However, an employee who has exhausted paid leave under the ...