What Does The End Of The Public Health Emergency Mean For Your Business?

Jul 17, 2021

Update November 10, 2021:

Though Colorado’s Public Health Emergency ended in July 2021, as of November 10, 2021, there is still a Federal Public Health Emergency Declaration in place. The Healthy Families and Workplace Act (HFWA) states that its emergency paid sick leave provision is required not only during a state or local public health emergency, but also a federal public health emergency. This means that small businesses must still honor the up to 80 hours of sick leave allotted to employees who need time for qualifying reasons. The current wording of the Healthy Families and Workplace Act only provides for this leave through the end of 2021, but we are waiting to see if it will be updated to renew in 2022.


Original Blog posted July 2021:

The last 16 months have brought overwhelming challenges to our small business community. I won't beat a dead horse, we've all been on the same wild ride. However, with the recent announcement from Colorado's Governor Polis effectively ending the Public Health Emergency on July 8, 2021, small businesses are ready to breathe a sigh of relief. But we aren't out of the woods quite yet.

Small businesses are still required to offer emergency paid sick leave for qualifying events 8 weeks beyond the expiration of the P.H.E. As you know (at least I hope you do) the American Rescue Plan Act extended the dollar-for-dollar tax credits for employee emergency paid leave wages through September. This also applies to leave taken to receive or recover from COVID-19 vaccinations.

 What should you do in the meantime?

  • Continue tracking employee leave and paid wages and keep your documentation and files in order in the event of an audit
  • Claim the tax credits for qualifying paid leave wages on your quarterly taxes
  • Have the damn cupcake, you've earned it 

Remember, P.H.E. leave also qualifies under the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act that requires Colorado employers to provide paid sick leave to all full-time and part-time employees.

For more details, check out our blog on that very topic:

Colorado Mandates Paid Sick Leave For All


Disclaimer: HR Branches provides general information about Human Resources. Please note that the information provided, while reliable, is not legal advice. Please seek legal assistance, or assistance from State, Federal, or International governmental resources, to make sure your legal interpretation and decisions are correct for your location and circumstances. The purpose of this information is for guidance, ideas, and assistance on general HR matters.

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