Colorado: Public Health Emergency Leave Not Available for Monkeypox


All Employers with CO Employees


August 9, 2022



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The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) announced that employers do not have to provide public health emergency (PHE) leave for monkeypox at this time. Employees can use accrued sick leave but a new two-week entitlement under PHE leave is not required. Employers will remember that Colorado’s Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA) required an additional amount of paid sick leave during a public health emergency. The HFWA has been in place since January 1, 2021 to address COVID-19 related leave but contained language broad enough to cover any public health emergency at a federal, state, or local level. 


The CDLE arrived at its guidance by stating the current strain of monkeypox is not highly fatal therefore PHE leave is not required at this time. This is despite the declaration that monkeypox is a public health emergency at the federal level. The CDLE does, however, expressly reserve the right to change its guidance based on new evidence. In that event, employers should be prepared to provide up to 80 hours to total leave for monkeypox-related absences for full-time employees, or the greater of the number of hours the employee is scheduled to work in a 14-day period or the average time the employee works in a 14-day period for part-time employees. 


Action Items 

  1. Review the CDLE’s guidance here. 
  2. Continue monitoring CDLE’s website for updated guidance. 
  3. Review and update leave policies as needed. 
  4. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance. 


Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser. © 2022 ManagEase