Offering employee benefits is an excellent way for businesses to show that they are invested in the health, well-being and future of its employees. An attractive compensation package can help businesses outshine the competition and attract and retain top talent. According to AICPA, 80 percent of employees reported that they would stay with an employer who offered benefits as opposed to those that did not. Colorado employers commonly offer their employees a wide range of benefits, including health insurance, retirement plans, educational opportunities and generous vacation time. Here is what Colorado employers with manufacturing companies need to know about employee benefits.
Major Employment Laws in 2021 For Manufacturing Companies
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the employee benefits landscape in the past year. Many states modified employment laws due to coronavirus-related illnesses and nationwide shutdowns. In Colorado, the manufacturing industry experienced major changes in employment laws that went into effect in January 2021. These include:
Paid Sick Leave
Beginning January 1, 2021, the state of Colorado requires all employers with 16 or more workers to grant paid sick leave. Through paid sick leave, employees continue to receive their full wages or a portion of their wages even when they are sick and unable to work.
Qualifying reasons for paid sick leave may include an illness, injury or other health condition. It may also encompass a medical diagnosis, preventative medical care, and care or treatment of a mental or physical illness. Paid sick leave often covers care for a family member who is sick or injured.
Effective January 1, 2022, paid sick leave obligations will extend to all businesses, regardless of the number of employees.
Paid Family and Medical Leave
Colorado recently joined a small group of states that require employers to provide paid family and medical leave to qualifying staff. The Paid Family and Medical Leave Initiative (PFML) was passed by Colorado voters on November 3, 2020, and creates a paid leave insurance benefit for all Colorado employees. The PFML program is managed by the state.
This program requires employers to provide employees with up to 12 weeks of paid leave for most instances, and up to 16 weeks under special circumstances. It exempts employers who have nine or fewer employees. Covered individuals include employees who have worked at least 180 days and earned a minimum of $2,500 in wages.
Paid family and medical leave benefits may be provided to employees who are experiencing the birth, placement or adoption of a child. It may also be approved for staff who suffer a serious health condition, require leave due to domestic violence, are caring for a family member with a serious health condition or require a qualifying exigency leave, such as for military service.
On December 23, 2020, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (DLE) published further information that requires employers of all sizes to provide employees with a maximum of 80 hours of Public Health Emergency Paid Sick Leave (PHEL) due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis.
Wages and Equal Pay
The Colorado Division of Labor Standards and Statistics published a final version of the Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards Order Number 37 on November 10, 2020. The order, which took effect on January 1, 2021, includes new updates to state exemptions pertaining to minimum wage and overtime.
Also, effective on January 1, 2021 is the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. This act requires employers to provide employees with transparency in wages and offer notices of promotional opportunities. The act prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or sex and prohibits employers from obtaining the criminal history or salary history of job applications.
On July 14, 2020, SB 20-170 was enacted, and includes a substitution for the term “severance allowance” with the term “remuneration” which is used when calculating how unemployment benefits are to be delayed when an employee receives severance pay.
Effective January 1, 2021, the law states that employees are not required to provide documentation to prove that they have left a job due to domestic violence when the worker is under the belief that their continued employment would jeopardize their safety or the safety of their family.
Contact an Employee Benefits Consultant
Employee benefits take on many forms, from complex pension plans to simple vacation time. It is important for employers to understand what types of employee benefits will help their business grow, attract new candidates and retain a talented workforce. Ongoing changes in employment laws in Colorado that affect many manufacturing companies must continually be monitored to ensure ongoing compliance.
An experienced Colorado employee benefits consultant can help your business meet these requirements. For more information about what Colorado employers need to know about employee benefits for a manufacturing companies, reach out to the professionals at New City Insurance.