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Here are the state laws that go into effect Jan. 1

Most of the new laws taking effect in the new year revolve around labor.

COLORADO, USA — State laws that take effect Jan. 1 mainly revolve around labor.

Below is a list of Colorado's new 2021 state laws that begin Jan. 1.

Sick leave for employees

Under SB20-2-05, commonly called the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act, employers with 16 or more employees are required to provide paid sick leave to their employees beginning Jan. 1, 2021. It will be accrued at one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 48 hours per year.

All other employees will be required to provide the paid leave beginning on Jan. 1, 2022.

Read the bill here.

Whistleblower protection during public health emergencies

House Bill 20-1415 provides workers with additional rights and was enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It adds protection for workers who raise health and safety concerns. Emergency rules were enacted in 2020 but some changes take effect on Jan. 1.

Pay disparity prevention

Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (SB19-085) builds upon the federal Equal Pay Act passed in 1963 prohibiting a wage differential based on sex, including gender identity.

Employers of any size are required to announce to all employees employment advancement opportunities and job openings, and a position’s pay range, including a list of benefits, for the opening. 

The requirements are detailed in the Equal Pay Transparency Rules approved by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) in November.

New minimum wage

Effective Jan. 1, 2021, the minimum wage will increase from $12 per hour to $12.32. In 2006, Colorado voters approved a ballot measure tying the annual minimum wage to inflation, except for 2017-20, when it rose by larger amounts due to a 2016 ballot measure raising the minimum wage to $12 by 2020.

No more Columbus Day

This one isn't technically new for 2021. House bill 20-1031 went into effect in 2020 and in October, Colorado celebrated its first-ever Frances Xavier Cabrini Day. It's celebrated the first Monday in October and replaces Columbus Day.

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