New Data Show “Double Whammy” for Emerging Business and Low-wage Workers in Early Days of COVID-19.
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Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order (in effect immediately) that gives private businesses the right to deny admittance or service to any person who tries to enter their business without a mask or face covering. Read the full Executive Order.
New guidelines from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment have been released for the safe reopening of restaurants and other food service establishments.
Executive Order D 2020 057 continues the extension for filing and remitting state and state-administered local sales tax until May 20, 2020.
The Governor extended the Executive Order on delaying evictions, foreclosures, and public utilities disruptions, until the end of May. The Executive Order was also strengthened, to include a prohibition from charging laid fees or penalties due to inability to pay rent or mortgage. It also directs the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) and the CO Department of Labor & Employment (CDLE) to work with property owners and landlords to create model repayment agreements that allow time for tenants to repay rent. It states that no evictions or foreclosures should occur in May 2020, for both residential and commercial tenants, unless there is a public safety risk.
Colorado has been doing a great job following the Stay-at-Home order, and we must keep it up. The virus is still present in Colorado and can re-surge at any time. Everyone needs to do their part for themselves, their loved ones, and our community. We have a responsibility to ourselves and to each other to protect our state and our community. Right now, we are in Level 2: Safer at Home. Coloradans are no longer ordered to stay home, but are strongly advised to stay at home. Critical businesses are open and non-critical businesses are operating with restrictions.
The Governor announced that Colorado is offering a one-time 30 day extension for businesses to file and remit their state sales tax. This also includes local sales taxes for 272 state-collected local taxing jurisdictions. This means, state sales taxes that are owed on April 20 do not need to be paid until May 20 with no penalty or interest. The Governor also signed an executive order that allows local governments to waive penalties and interest for property tax payments through April 20, but announced that he is extending it to May 1, which is the full 30 days that he is allowed under an executive order. And for property owners that are worried about paying their property tax in April, you can now split your property tax payment into two installments, so you can pay half in April and half in June without penalties or interest. Taxpayers who want to split their payment should reach out to their county treasurer.
Dept. of Labor Releases Families First Coronavirus Response Act Regulations: The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued regulations for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which confirmed that employees must give notice to their employers of the need to take leave and provide documentation to support paid sick leave and emergency family and medical leave.You can read more about the regulations and IRS guidance here.
Department of Public Safety Critical Business Self-Certification: While the state is not requiring it, the Colorado Department of Public Safety has added a Critical Business Self-Certification form to their website. The form is in response to requests from employees and private sector members for a document to carry that certifies that they are traveling for work for a critical business. The form is voluntary. It is not required. Link to the document can be found here.
Department of Insurance Emergency Regulations on Restaurant Delivery and Auto Insurance: The Governor announced that he is removing restrictions on auto insurance for drivers for of restaurant delivery. In an effort to protect these workers and their vehicles, the Colorado Department of Insurance released emergency regulations to allow for restaurant workers to deliver food with less red tape and insurance delays. Restaurant owners are encouraged to contact their insurance agents, brokers or companies to discuss additional coverage riders and other options that could offer more protection for their workers and their businesses. Such options could prove useful even after the COVID-19 emergency.
The Division adopted amendments to the Colorado Health Emergency Leave with Pay (“Colorado HELP”) rules.
State of Colorado Stay-at-Home Order: The order goes into effect at 6 a.m. on March 26, 2020, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on April 11, 2020. Critical businesses are defined and explained in the order.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act Employer Paid Leave Requirements: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply through December 31, 2020
City of Denver Stay-at-Home Order: This order is in effect from 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24 through April 10. Businesses must implement work from home policies and delivery of goods to the greatest extent possible. The order outlines essential versus nonessential businesses.
SBA DISASTER ASSISTANCE IN RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS: THE U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION IS OFFERING DESIGNATED STATES LOW-INTEREST FEDERAL DISASTER LOANS FOR WORKING CAPITAL TO SMALL BUSINESSES SUFFERING SUBSTANTIAL ECONOMIC INJURY AS A RESULT OF THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19).
CDC Spanish Resource Kit via our friends at Latino Chamber of Commerce of Pueblo
Colorado Health Emergency Leave with Pay (“Colorado HELP”) Rules: this page will be updated as events related to the state of disaster emergency declared by Governor Polis evolve.
The Colorado Department of Labor & Employment (CDLE) has issued new guidance and resources for paid sick leave, unemployment insurance benefits, and wage claims. We recommend reviewing the current content and bookmarking to check for frequent updates.