The Colorado Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently updated its Interpretive Notice & Formal Opinion (“INFO”)
as it relates to the HFWA. The new INFO #6B was released the beginning of July 2022. In it the DOL clarified issues that were unclear under the HFWA.
Among those clarifications, two issues are noteworthy.
- Leave accrues up to 48 hours per year. At the end of a year, the employee must be allowed to carry over unused hours. How much time the employee accrues in the subsequent year was unclear – but now the DOL advises that the hours “rolled over” for use in the next year can count toward that employee’s allotment in that next year. For instance, if an employee carries over 40 hours of unused hours from 2022 to 2023, the employee will only earn 8 hours of new accrual in 2023 – at 1 hour earned for every 30 worked.
- The second clarification deals with the PHE requirement related to the employee being granted 80 hours of supplemental time for use related to PHE health issues. The DOL advises now that accrued leave will count toward the emergency leave of the 80 hours, but that the supplemental time is to be used prior to the used of the accrued leave time. For instance, if an employee has 40 hours of accrued HFWA time and becomes ill due to COVID, the employee is would receive 40 hours of PHE time to bring the employee up to 80 hours of leave. Then, if the employee is out for 70 hours, the employee would use the 40 hours of supplemental time first and then use 30 hours of their prior accrued leave for the COVID illness – and then be left with 10 hours of regular accrued HFWA time after the illness.The DOL clarifies other HFWA issues in the INFO which can be reviewed by employers at:https://cdle.colorado.gov/sites/cdle/files/INFO%20%236B%20-%206.24.22%20-%20clean_0.pdf.