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President's Page by Jennifer Lorenz

Last week over the course of just 3 days more than 45,000 Coloradans filed for unemployment (citation here). As most of us now know, on March 26, 2020 Governor Polis issued an updated Executive Order requiring Colorado Residents to Stay-At-Home whenever possible. A link to the Order can be found here.

The Order’s intent is to minimize contact between residents and to the greatest extent possible minimize the exposure of the public to contaminated public surfaces. Critical Businesses, as defined in the Order, are exempt from some of the Order’s limitations. The Order is encouraging Critical Businesses to remain open. However, Critical Businesses must still comply with Social Distancing Requirements at all times and implement other available work options including, “tele-work or other strategies, such as staggered schedules or re-designing workplaces, to create more distance between workers unless doing so would make it impossible to carry out critical functions.” Pursuant to the Order, to successfully contain the spread of the virus, all employers, employees and individuals must observe Social Distancing Requirements at all times and to the greatest extent possible.

All businesses not deemed Critical Businesses under the Order are required to close down their in-person work operations, but may continue to carry out “Minimum Basic Operations,”which include: “The minimum necessary activities to (1) maintain the value of the business’s inventory, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or for related functions; or (2) facilitate employees of the business being able to continue to work remotely from their Residences are allowable pursuant to this Order. Any business supporting Minimum Basic Operations must comply at all times with Social Distancing Requirements.”

For those able to keep their jobs, on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 the President signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, H.R. 6201 (“Act).” This new Act provides paid sick leave and paid family leave to employees working for private-sector employers with fewer than 500 employees or covered public agencies regardless of size.The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division will administer and enforce the new Act’s paid leave requirements (citation here).

The Act includes the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act. Emergency Paid Sick Leave is immediately available to all employees. Covered employers are required to provide full-time employees with 80 hours of Emergency Paid Sick Leave, and part-time employees receive their regular rate of pay for the average number of hours that such part-time employees work in a two-week period.Emergency Paid Sick time does not carryover from one year to the next and it is Not paid upon separation from employment.The Department of Labor has already published comprehensive posters addressing both Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act, and can be found here:

Regarding Employee Rights

Regarding Federal Employee Rights

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Notice – Frequently Asked Questions

H.R.6201 - Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Both the Emergency Paid Sick Leave and EFMLA take effect on April 2, 2020 and sunset on December 31, 2020.

As always, please contact me at Jlorenz@dietzedavis.com if I can be of any assistance or if you have any helpful suggestions. There will be more information for attorneys in the webinar on Friday, April 10. I look forward to virtually seeing you then!

Stay Healthy and Safe!

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