In this Capitol Report:
- Paid Family & Medical Leave Bill Dead - Sponsors Jump on Ballot Initiative
- Guidelines Released for Re-opening of Colorado Businesses
- Additional Resources for Employers and Workers on COVID-19 Compliance
- Colorado Oil & Gas Commission Delays Hearings on Adopting It’s New Mission
- Navigating the Uncharted: Business Leaders Respond to COVID-19
- Have a Story to Share?
- Colorado Department of Health and Environment Encourages Flushing Your Building's Tap Water
Paid Family & Medical Leave Bill Dead - Sponsors Jump on Ballot Initiative
Last night, the bill sponsors of a mandated paid family and medical leave program announced that they will not pursue legislation when the General Assembly reconvenes on May 18th. Instead, they are putting their support behind a ballot initiative that has been approved for the 2020 Election.
Starting in January 2020, the bill sponsors and proponents began drafting their own versions of the bill instead of adopting the Paid Family & Medical Leave Insurance Task Force recommendations which were released in early January. The bill drafts were complicated and some proponents publicly opposed the drafts, while two of the original bill sponsors removed their names from the bill. Sponsors then met with a coalition of Colorado Chamber members and other business entities on March 13th to revert back to the Task Force recommendations. The Colorado Chamber organized a negotiating team that participated in calls with the sponsors/proponents for three weeks.
Status on Ballot Initiative:
The initiative has been approved for the ballot. The campaign will try to collect signatures due by August 3rd. The Governor is also considering whether signatures can be collected electronically due to the current pandemic. This could dramatically change the signature collection process for this initiative and other initiatives in the future.
Please contact Loren Furman at [email protected] with any questions regarding this matter.
The Capitol Report is Sponsored By:
Guidelines Released for Re-opening of Colorado Businesses
Early this week, Governor Polis issued a “Safer at Home” Executive Order allowing for the gradual re-opening of critical and non-critical businesses in Colorado. The next important step of this process is providing guidelines for businesses on the safety protocols for re-opening their operations. Those guidelines can be found here along with an FAQ to help answer your questions.
We strongly encourage you to review the Public Health Order since each business has unique operations, but we’ve highlighted some general safety protocols for non-critical and critical businesses below:
All Business and Government Functions. Critical Businesses, Critical Government Functions, Non-Critical Office-Based Businesses, Personal Services, Limited Healthcare Settings, and Non-Critical Retail shall follow the protocols below (pgs. 7-9 of Public Health Order):
1. Employers and sole proprietors shall take all of the following measures within the workplace to minimize disease transmission:
a. deputize a workplace coordinator(s) charged with addressing COVID-19 issues;
b. maintain 6 foot separation between employees and discourage shared spaces;
c. clean and disinfect all high touch areas;
d. post signage for employees and customers on good hygiene;
e. ensure proper ventilation;
f. avoid gatherings (meetings, waiting rooms, etc) of more than 10 people;
g. implement symptom monitoring protocols (including workplace temperature monitoring),conduct monitoring),conduct daily temperature checks and monitor
symptoms in employees. A sample form can be found here. If an employee reports any symptoms, refer symptomatic employees to the CDPHE Symptom Tracker and take all of the following steps:
1. send employee home immediately
2. increase cleaning in your facility and require social distancing of staff at least 6 feet apart from one another; exclude employee until they are fever-free, without medication, for 72 hours and 7 days have passed since their first symptom; and if multiple employees have these symptoms, contact your local health department; and
h. eliminate or regularly clean and disinfect any items in common spaces, such as break rooms, that are shared between individuals, such as condiments, coffee makers, vending machines.
2. Employers shall take all of the following measures regarding employees to minimize disease transmission:
a. require employees to stay home when showing any symptoms or signs of sickness, and connect employees to company or state benefits providers;
b. provide work accommodations for vulnerable individuals, who remain subject to Stay at Home advisement, prioritizing telecommuting, as vulnerable individuals shall not be compelled to go to work during the pendency of this pandemic emergency;
c. provide flexible or remote scheduling for employees who may have child or elder care obligations, or who live with a person who still needs to observe Stay at Home due to underlying condition, age, or other factor;
d. encourage and enable remote work whenever possible;
e. encourage breaks to wash hands or use hand sanitizer; f. phase shift and breaks to reduce density; and
g. provide appropriate protective gear like gloves, masks, and face coverings.
3. Employers and sole proprietors shall implement the following measures regarding customers to minimize disease transmission:
a. create whenever possible special hours for vulnerable individuals only;
b. encourage 6 foot distancing inside of the business for all patrons;
c. encourage customer use of protection like gloves and face coverings;
d. provide hand sanitizer at the entrances to the greatest extent possible; and
e. use contactless payment solutions, no touch trash cans, etc. whenever possible.
4. Employers with over fifty (50) employees in any one location shall, in addition to the above requirements, implement the following protocols:
a. implement stations for symptom screening and temperature checks, and follow the requirements in Section II.G.1.g above;
b. close common areas to disallow gatherings of employees;
c. implement mandatory cleaning and disinfection protocols; and
d. require mandatory adherence to social distancing requirements.
Again, we encourage you to review the full Public Health Order and FAQ documents for implementing proper safety protocols for your operations. Please contact Loren Furman at [email protected] or at 303-866-9642 with any questions regarding this information or the re-opening process.
Additional Resources for Employers and Workers on COVID-19 Compliance
The Governor’s Office and the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment have provided additional resources for those with questions regarding Governor Polis’ most recent Safer at Home Executive Order and the Department’s Public Health Order which provides the guidelines for compliance. Below please find additional resources for seeking answers to your questions/concerns or suggestions on how the compliance requirements process could be modified/improved:
Colorado Oil & Gas Commission Delays Hearings on Adopting It’s New Mission
On Wednesday of this week, the Commission voted unanimously to delay their hearings from August 24, 2020 to September 10, 2020, for the discussion of the change of its mission. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) is the state board that approves drilling permits and other regulations on the oil and gas industry. The Commission Director recommended delaying the meetings so that they can allow for public testimony due to the large number of stakeholders involved.
During the 2019 Legislative Session, Senate Bill 181 was adopted that required changes to the make-up of the Commission by reducing the number and the professional background of the members that can serve on the COGCC. The law also required a change to the mission of the Commission from “promoting efficient and safe oil and gas extraction” to “regulating the industry to protect public health and the environment.” The new law also allows cities and counties to have more control over where oil and gas companies can drill and can choose to impose local setback rules for new wells and require operators to pay additional fees and fines. The new members of the Commission will be appointed by Governor Polis by July 1, 2020.
Colorado Department of Health and Environment Encourages Flushing Your Building's Tap Water
As Colorado re-opens offices and other buildings, the Colorado Department of Health and Environment encourages building owners and management companies to flush their drinking water pipes. When buildings are mostly vacant for extended time periods, there can be a decline in water quality.
Both the Colorado Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) and Denver Water shared guidance to help customers and members.
- BOMA – Preparing Buildings for Re-entry
- Denver Water – Reoccupying a building after an extended closure
For more information about water and COVID-19 in Colorado, please visit CDPHE’s COVID-19 Resources for Water and Wastewater Utilities webpage.