Colorado Temporarily Requires Employers to Provide Sick Leave While Awaiting COVID-19 Testing

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Note: this post was updated on March 31, 2020 to reflect recent changes in the law

April 6, 2020
Shawna Ruetz - The Grindstone Lewis Brisbois Labor & Employment Blog

On March 11, 2020, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) issued emergency rules, referred to as Colorado Health Emergency Leave with Pay (Colorado HELP) Rules, requiring employers in certain industries to provide four days of paid sick leave to employees with flu-like symptoms while awaiting test results for COVID-19, or to anyone who is under instructions from a healthcare provider to quarantine or isolate due to a risk of having COVID-19. These rules take effect immediately for 30 days, or longer if the state of emergency declared by Colorado Governor Polis continues.

Which industries are covered by the Colorado HELP Rules?

  • 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)
  • Nursing homes; and
  • Community living facilities; and
  • Retail establishments that sell groceries (added March 26).

How much paid sick leave must be provided?

Employers are required to provide up to four days of paid sick leave to employees with flu-like symptoms who are being tested for COVID-19. If the employee tests negative, the leave ends.

Ms. Ruetz may be contacted at


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