During the 2020 Regular Session, the Colorado legislature passed the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act requiring employers across the state to provide paid sick leave to their employees

Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, all employers in Colorado with 16 or more employees (and all employers, regardless of staff size, by January 1, 2022) must provide paid sick leave for their employees at a minimum rate of 1 hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

At CU, this law will largely affect part-time employees who work fewer than 20 hours per week and are not already covered by the standard sick leave policy. Because of the limited hours and the likelihood that this includes student employees with inconsistent schedules, the university is opting to calculate this sick leave on a prorated basis.

Key points

  • This new policy does not affect employees currently covered by the standard sick leave policy.
  • Affected employees will earn roughly .034 hours of sick leave per hour worked.
  • Affected employees will be able to carry a maximum of 48 hours of sick leave from one fiscal year to the next.
  • Affected employees will only be able to use 48 hours of sick leave per fiscal year, regardless of how much leave they have banked.
  • Biweekly pay groups will have access to a new earnings code to pay employees for sick leave usage.
  • Monthly pay groups will continue to use existing sick earnings codes to record sick leave.
  • All employees without a sick balance will be able to use up to 80 hours of Public Health Emergency Leave, during a public health emergency set by the state of Colorado.

Resources

If you or your employees have any questions, these resources can help:

If campus PPLs have any questions not addressed here or in the FAQ, please contact the HCM Community call center at HCM_Community@cu.edu.

 

 

 

FAQs

General Questions

Q) When can I use sick leave?

Sick leave can be used for the following reasons: 

  • An employee has a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; needs a medical diagnosis, care, or treatment related to such illness, injury or condition; or needs to obtain preventive medical care.
  • An employee needs to care for a family member who has a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition; needs a medical diagnosis, care or treatment related to such illness, injury or condition; or needs to obtain preventive medical care;
  • An employee or family member has been the victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or harassment and needs to be absent from work for purposes related to such crime; or
  • A public official has ordered the closure of the school or place of care of the employee's child or of the employee's place of business due to a public health emergency, necessitating the employee's absence from work.

Q) How much will I accrue?

A) When Determining your accrual, please keep the following in mind:

  • CU has several leave eligibilities, so your accrual will depend on your position type
  • Employees in multiple positions might have multiple eligibilities. In that case you would apply the eligibility rules separately to each position
  • Your accrual in any position will be affected by your schedule. If you are part-time in a position, your accrual may be a proration of the full benefit
Job Type Sick Leave Accrual
Classified employees (non-temporary)
  • Classified Employees accrue a maximum of 6.66 hours of sick each month, prorated based on the hours worked versus total work hours possible in the pay period month.
  • Classified Leave rules are governed by state law. You can review information about your sick leave on the Classified Staff Leave Policies page.
University staff employees (non-temporary)
  • Full-time University Staff employees accrue a maximum of 10.0 hours of sick each month, prorated based on the hours worked versus total work hours in the pay period month.
  • More information on University Staff leave policies can be found on the University Staff Leave Policies page.
12-month faculty (non-temporary)
  • Employees considered 12-Month Faculty accrue a maximum of 10.0 hours of sick leave each month, prorated based on the hours worked versus total possible work hours in the pay period month.
  • More information on leave policies can be found on the Office of Policy and Efficiency (OPE) Leave Policies page.
9-month faculty
  • Full-time 9-Month Faculty are provided 44 hours of sick leave at the beginning of each fall and spring semester, usable immediately.
  • Faculty not working full-time are given a proration of sick hours at the beginning of each fall and spring semester. Proration criteria is determined at the campus level
Student contracts
All other contract employees
  • Full-time employees paid on a contract and not covered by the 12-month Faculty or 9-month Faculty policy are provided 24 hours of sick leave at the beginning of each fall, spring and summer semester, usable immediately.
  • Contract employees not working full-time are provided a proration of sick hours at the beginning of each fall, spring and summer semester. Proration criteria is determined at the campus level.
Student employees (non-contract)
Temporary classified staff
Temporary university staff
Temporary 12-month faculty
Other employees
  • This group of employees accrue leave at a rate of 0.034 sick hours for each hour worked. Accrual hours are calculated as part of the payroll process and become available once payroll has processed the pay period.

Q) How do I view my sick leave balance?

Source Details
Through CU Leave Accrual Summary Page
  • The CU Leave Accrual Summary Page will be visible to all employees beginning 2021 and allows an employee to see a full history of leave accrual, including their current balance and historical usage.
  • Employees with multiple leave eligibilities can use this page to see the non-combined balance of hours available for each position.
  • The CU Leave Accrual Summary Page can be accessed from the portal Employee Self Service page using the “Leave Balances” tile.

Through My Leave
  • By viewing the calendar in My Leave, employees can see their total leave balance by each month, including recorded usage, end-of-month balance, and projected accrual for future months (based on standard hours on your job record).
  • A guide to My Leave can be found in the My Leave Basics guide.
  • My Leave will display your leave balance as a total sum across all positions. For employees with multiple leave eligibilities, this would not display the available balance for each position. If you try to use leave from a different sick plan, your sick usage will be docked on your paycheck for the hours of overuse. To prevent being docked for recording sick not available on that job record, it is recommended you review your sick balances on the CU Leave Accrual Summary Page. The CU Leave Accrual Summary Page can be accessed from the portal Employee Self Service page using the “Leave Balances” tile.

Contract Employees
  • At this time, Contract leave balances are not displayed in HCM. If you wish to know your current balance and prior usage, please talk to your campus HR.

Q) How do I record absence for sick leave?

A) Employees in pay groups paid monthly can use the sick earnings codes that are already available. There are no new codes or processes to record this time.

Employees paid in a biweekly pay group will have a new Earnings Code – Hourly Sick Leave – that will pay the employee for absence time covered by the state sick leave plan as long as they have an available balance to use. Employees do not need to enter a second code to be paid. Entering HSK – Hourly Sick Leave alone will pay the employee for the hours of leave used.

Q) How much leave can I accrue? Will my leave be capped or taken away?

Employees eligible for state sick leave and earning 0.034 accrual hours per hour worked can only use up to 48 hours each plan year, regardless of how many hours they accrue under the state sick leave plan. A plan year matches the fiscal year of July 1 – June 30 of the following year.

State sick leave eligible employees may also carry up to 48 hours of unused leave into the next plan year. The evaluation of an employee’s carryover occurs during the Leave Sweep process at the end of each fiscal year, at the same time we run the Leave Sweep process for our existing leave plans. Any balance that exceeds 48 hours will be removed at that time for the state sick leave plan enrollees.

9-Month faculty do not have a limit on their total leave balance. However, these employees cannot earn more than 11 days (88 hours) of leave in any calendar year.

Q) Will I be able to use my sick leave across my multiple jobs?

A) This depends on your specific situation. If all your positions are eligible for the same leave benefits – meaning all eligible for the state sick benefit, all eligible for the Classified leave benefit, or all eligible for the University Staff leave benefit – then your sick balance will be shared across those positions.

If you have positions with differing eligibility – such as a position eligible for Classified sick leave and a position eligible for the state sick leave – then those balances would not be shared with the positions enrolled in a different leave plan.

Please note: Employee positions paid through a contract currently do not accrue any leave within the HCM system and will not record or have access to that leave within My Leave. See your campus HR for details on usage of this leave.

Q) I am a temporary employee paid on a contract. Am I eligible for paid sick leave under the new law?

A) Contract employees are eligible for the new paid sick leave. Campus HR departments are creating processes to track leave usage outside of My Leave. If you are a contract employee, more information will be provided to you about leave accrual and usage at the beginning of the spring semester.

Q) What happens to my sick balance when I terminate?

A) If you leave employment with CU, generally you lose all remaining sick leave balances and do not receive a payout of any unused sick leave. There are exceptions for certain employees retiring, and Classified employees have rules governed by state law that allows balances to transfer to other state positions.

However, any employee that terminates their employee relationship with CU but returns within six (6) months is entitled to full reinstatement of any sick leave balance that remained at the time of termination.

Sick leave balances should be transferred between departments or campuses if an employee is maintaining at least one active employee position with CU.

Supervisor & Payroll Personnel Questions

Q) Does work-study funding pay for sick leave?

A) Work-study rules do not allow for the funding of sick leave. Unlike other recorded time, students’ use of sick leave will not apply to the work-study. This leave will apply to the student’s default position funding unless a SpeedType override is applied.