Colorado workers must be offered paid sick leave starting next year. Here’s what that means for you. | CraigDailyPress.com
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Colorado workers must be offered paid sick leave starting next year. Here’s what that means for you.

Senate Bill 205 also will require employers to provide two weeks of paid sick leave to people infected with coronavirus or who must care for a loved one who catches the disease

Jesse Paul / Colorado Sun
Brendan Hartigen works alongside his father, Sean Hartigen, filling water glasses for customers at The Last Steep Bar & Grill on Elk Avenue in Crested Butte, Colorado on August 6, 2019. Sean buses tables and does whatever other tasks are given to him. Sean and his wife Sarah, who co-own The Last Steep employ several pre-high-schoolers—friends of their 14-year-old son, Brendan. Brendan Hartigen works alongside his father, Sean Hartigen, filling water glasses for customers at The Last Steep Bar & Grill on Elk Avenue in Crested Butte, Colorado on August 6, 2019. Sean buses tables and does whatever other tasks are given to him. Under current Colorado law, 14-year-olds can work non-hazardous jobs in retail, offices and restaurants. The law specifies that they can also operate elevators.Twelve-year-olds can babysit, sell things door-to-door, garden, and do agricultural work. At the age of 9, kids can shine shoes, deliver handbills, garden or caddy.The law also allows children of business owners to help out in family businesses at any age. Dean Krakel, Special to The Colorado Sun
Dean Krakel, Special to The Colorado Sun

Gov. Jared Polis on Tuesday signed into law a bill that will give nearly every Colorado worker the ability to earn up to six paid sick leave days annually starting next year.

It’s considered one of the most progressive sick leave policies in the country and comes in response to the coronavirus crisis. 

Senate Bill 205 also will require all employers to provide two weeks of paid sick leave to people infected with COVID-19 or who must care for a loved one who catches the disease. The time can also be used to care for a child or dependent family member whose normal place-of-care has been shuttered because of the pandemic.

“Sixty percent of Coloradans already have some kind of paid sick leave,” said state Sen. Jeff Bridges, a Greenwood Village Democrat and prime sponsor of the measure. “The other 40% are the ones we encounter most whenever we leave our homes. They tend to work in restaurants, retail and service industry jobs that put them in close contact with all of us. And those tend to be the kind of jobs where people can’t afford to take an unpaid day off.” 

The Colorado Sun analyzed the bill to break down how it will affect everyday Coloradans:

A maximum of six paid sick days 

Anyone who works at a business with 16 or more employees will be able to earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they work. Workers can accrue up to 48 hours — or six days — of paid sick leave each year. 

People who work at a business with 15 or fewer employees won’t be eligible to accrue paid sick time under the bill until 2022. The delay was added into the legislation to appease small businesses that worried the new legislation was too great a burden. 

The law applies to both hourly and salaried employees. 

For salaried employees, employers are to assume they work 40 hours a week. If they are part-time, then employers must calculate how much sick time they earn based on the number of hours they typically work during a week. 

Employers who are more generous with their paid sick leave do not have to reduce their offerings because of this bill. The law expressly allows employers to offer more paid time off. 

To read the rest of the Colorado Sun article, click here.


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