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CO Passes Emergency Rules on Paid Sick Leave for COVID-19

On March 11, 2020, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) published emergency rules which temporarily require employers in certain industries to provide a small amount of paid sick leave to employees with flu-like symptoms while awaiting COVID-19 testing.

Employers in these industries must provide up to four paid sick leave days to these employees. The four days are based on calendar days and only for the days, the affected employee would have actually worked. If some of the four days were on weekends when the employee would not have worked, paid sick leave is not required for those days. Also, if an employee receives a negative test result before the end of the four days, the paid leave ends at that time.

Colorado employers in the following industries are included:

  • Leisure and hospitality

  • Food services

  • Child care

  • Education, including transportation, food service, and related work with educational establishments

  • Home health, if working with elderly, disabled, ill, or otherwise high-risk individuals

  • Nursing homes

  • Community living facilities

Full Definitions of the industries included are available here.

If the employer already provides paid sick leave in at least the amount required, they don’t have to provide additional days unless an employee has exhausted their paid sick leave days and then has flu-like symptoms and is being tested for COVID-19. In cases such as this, the employer would have to provide the additional paid sick days covered by these rules.


If the employee is able to communicate, employees must notify their employer of their absence as soon as possible, give notice of getting tested for COVID-19 within 24 hours of being prescribed the test, and provide documentation requested by the employer by the earlier of their return to work or the end of term of their illness.

The employer may at its option require the employee to provide documentation from the health care provider who prescribed the COVID-19 test or the provider of the test including any documents sufficient to show the name, contact information, type of provider, the prescription including the date, or whatever documents they can provide with a written affirmation from the employee stating whichever of these items are not available.

Effective Dates:

The rules took effect on March 11, 2020, for 30 days. If this state of emergency declaration made by the Governor continues, the rule may be extended.

Reach out to your OneDigital representative for further information and support, or visit the  OneDigital Coronavirus Advisory Hub for resources, updates and informative advisory sessions.