535 Grand Avenue, Grand Junction, CO 81501

Colorado Compliance Connection - December 2022

December 1, 2022

Federal Compliance Update

The Spread of RSV and the Workplace

Respiratory syncytial virus, also known as RSV, is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. RSV is currently on the rise and spreading at higher levels in the 2022-23 respiratory virus season.

For many, the virus is recoverable within a week, but the infection can be serious for some. Infants and older adults are at the highest risk for RSV complications. People infected with RSV are usually contagious for three to eight days and may become contagious a day or two before they

show signs of illness. RSV spreads quickly through droplets when someone coughs or sneezes, and it can live on surfaces such as counters, doorknobs, hands, and clothing.

While this virus spreads quickly through environments like schools and day care centers,

the spread of RSV—along with the common cold, influenza (flu) and COVID-19—can also significantly impact workplaces. Masking, social distancing and other COVID-19 pandemic measures are less common throughout the country; this means viral infections (such as flu and RSV), which were not as prevalent during the pandemic’s peak, will become increasingly more common among workers in onsite or hybrid workplaces.

Health experts recommend being up to date on vaccinations, including the flu and COVID-19 vaccines, to best protect from the surge of circulating viruses.

Additionally, consider the following tips to best prevent the spread of illnesses in the workplace:

  • Stay home from work if you’re not feeling well.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper shirt sleeve—not your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Keep an alcohol-based hand sanitizer on your workspace or with you.
  • Disinfect your work surface frequently, including objects you often touch (e.g., keyboard, phone, and doorknobs).
  • Avoid close contact, such as shaking hands or sharing cups and eating utensils with others.

Since it may be difficult to determine which illness you have without being tested, stay home if you’re not feeling well and call your doctor. If you have questions about any workplace policies, talk to your manager.

Recession-proofing Strategies for Small Businesses and HR Teams

A recession is a prolonged and pervasive reduction in economic activity that can last for several months or years. Amid a recession, organizations of all sizes and sectors usually experience decreased sales and profits stemming from changing economic environments and consumer behaviors. While these behaviors can threaten the financial stability of any organization, large businesses are often better positioned to weather a recession because of their substantial revenues, excess reserves and expanded access to a wider range of credit markets. On the other hand, small businesses may be particularly vulnerable during an economic downturn, as they generally lack the additional capital necessary to offset extended periods of loss. As a result, when a recession occurs, small businesses are more likely to have to make difficult financial decisions to avoid issues such as insolvency or bankruptcy.

Although a recession can’t be prevented, HR teams’ strategies can greatly impact whether their organizations withstand such a downturn. Specifically, HR teams can ensure their organizations are sufficiently prepared for a recession by taking steps to limit related ramifications and maintain financial stability. To promote financial stability among their organizations during an economic downturn, HR teams should consider the following recession-proofing strategies:

  • Revisit compensation and benefits strategies. HR teams may need to rethink how their organizations will address attraction and retention struggles, while maximizing every dollar. Recession-proof organizations tend to develop their budgets with an eye toward the future, thus requiring HR teams to revisit compensation and benefits strategies.
  • Minimize the impact of layoffs. Layoffs can create risks and negatively impact business operations by decreasing productivity. HR teams may be able to minimize the need for layoffs by implementing a voluntary reduction in force, slowing hiring or freezing it entirely.
  • Stay transparent. The possibility of a recession can bring uncertainty, which could lead to employee retention and operational challenges. Creating a transparent workplace culture can help organizations limit recession-related ramifications and ease employee worries.
  • Prioritize employee engagement. Highly engaged employees can help limit recession-related labor challenges for organizations, as they’re more likely to accept negative work changes and remain loyal. By increasing engagement, HR teams can help maintain morale and productivity.
  • Manage health care costs. As budgets shrink during a recession, finding cost-effective solutions can allow organizations to maintain affordable employee benefits.

A recession can have serious impacts on small businesses. Fortunately, by properly preparing for an economic downturn, HR teams can help their organizations be better positioned to minimize financial hardships.

State Compliance Update

Colorado SecureSavings Program

The following information is direct wording from the Colorado SecureSavings Program website.

The Program Details

Colorado SecureSavings is a new retirement savings program, created by the Colorado Secure Savings Board in the Colorado Department of the Treasury. All Colorado businesses with five or more employees (who have worked for you for at least 180 days), and who have been in business for two or more years, will be required to register for the program if they don’t already offer a tax-qualified retirement savings plan to any employees.

The good news? This program is designed to help employees establish a financially secure future with easy, automatic payroll contributions to a Roth IRA. Colorado SecureSavings is an added benefit to offer and comes at no cost to employers.

How to Register for Colorado Secure Savings Program

The Colorado SecureSavings employer portal has been designed with ease of use in mind. Just follow a series of on-screen prompts to quickly and efficiently set up your account. For step-by-step registration information, please click here.

To prepare to set up your account, you’ll need:

  • Your company’s EIN and unique Access Code (which will be sent to you via mail or email).
  • Your payroll provider’s name (if you use one) and your company’s payroll schedule(s).
  • Your company’s bank information for payments.
  • Your latest employee roster and accompanying personal information (employee name, contact info, date of birth, SSN, etc.). If your payroll provider would like to know what’s required, or if you’d like to compile your employee information manually in advance, please download this .CSV template to be sure you have everything you need.

For a timeline for administration, please click here.

FAMLI Revisited

With the Colorado Family and Medical Leave Insurance program coming January 1, 2023, it is worth reviewing the information employers must know.

Colorado’s paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program (FAMLI) will launch next year. FAMLI benefits include partial wage replacement, job protection, and continuation of group health care coverage. FAMLI is funded by payroll contributions and is administered by the FAMLI Division (part of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment). Employers do not pay the monetary benefits directly to employees.

Employers must start withholdings on January 1, 2023. Employees can take FAMLI leave starting on January 1, 2024. The FAMLI Division has a web page with FAQs, toolkits, videos, and other resources for employers.


FAMLI applies to most employers and employees in Colorado. Those who are self-employed are not required to participate but can opt in.


Employers are responsible for sending contributions to FAMLI. For 2023 and 2024, the contribution rate is 0.9% of each employee’s wages, up to the Social Security wage base (currently estimated to be

$155,100 in 2023, which would be a max contribution of $1,395.90). If you have nine or fewer employees, then your employees pay half the contribution amount and you pay nothing. If you have 10 or more employees, then you pay 50% and your employees pay 50% of the contribution.

Employee Eligibility

The state will determine an employee’s eligibility when they apply. To be eligible for FAMLI, an employee must have earned $2,500 in Colorado during their base period. To be entitled to job protection and continuation of health care coverage, the employee must have worked for the employer for at least 180 days before taking leave.

Private Plans

Employers interested in using a private plan, or self-insurance, will need to have their plan approved by the FAMLI Division to ensure that it offers the same benefits and protections as the FAMLI plan.

The private plan marketplace and approval application process is expected to open in the early part of 2023.

Further instructions and guidance will be published on famli.colorado.gov and a subsequent Private Plan Guide in the near future. Until then, here’s what you need to know about private plans:

Private plans must

  • Offer the same number of weeks of benefits
  • Offer the same level of wage replacement
  • Have no additional requirements or conditions
  • Deduct no more than the same amount from employee paychecks as the state plan
  • Cover all employees through the duration of their employment
  • Remain compliant with any additional requirements established by the FAMLI Division
  • Self-insured plans are a subset of private plans, and will need to follow the same rules, provisions and get approved by the Division. However, employers using self-insured plans will also need to secure a surety bond in order for the Division to vet the financial standing of the company.

Amount and Reasons for Leave

Eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of FAMLI leave per year for family, medical, qualifying exigency, or safe leave. Employees can take an additional four weeks for pregnancy-related complications.

Family leave is to care for a family member with a serious health condition or to bond with a new

child. Medical leave is for the employee’s own serious health condition. Qualifying exigency leave is for making arrangements for a family member’s military deployment. Safe leave is for domestic violence or sexual assault.

If the employee’s FAMLI leave also qualifies for the Colorado Family Care Act or the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), then the leaves will run concurrently.

Notice Requirements

Employers are required to provide notice about FAMLI:

  • By posting the notice in a prominent location at each worksite,
  • To each employee upon hire, and
  • To an employee when they learn that the employee might need leave for a covered reason.

The 2023 notice is available here.

Action Items

  • Ensure that your payroll is set up to handle contributions by January 1, 2023.
  • Register with the FAMLI Division before April 30, 2023.
  • Add the notice to your new hire packet.
  • Display the poster in a prominent location at each worksite.

Public Health Emergency Declared for Flu, RSV, etc.

As of November 11, 2022, the conditions covered by Colorado’s latest PHE declaration include health needs related to not just COVID, but also flu, respiratory syncytial virus (“RSV”), and similar respiratory illnesses. Those with flu or RSV symptoms already were likely covered as having COVID symptoms — so a key impact of this expansion may be that coverage remains even if testing confirms someone has flu or RSV rather than COVID. The expansion beyond COVID doesn’t give employees an extra 80 hours for those conditions, it just means they can use their 80 hours for a broader range of conditions. PHE leave is usable for a range of PHE-related needs, not just for confirmed cases. PHE-related needs include:

  • Symptoms of COVID, flu, RSV or other similar respiratory illnesses
  • Quarantining or isolating due to exposure
  • Testing for COVID or similar respiratory illnesses
  • Vaccination and its side effects
  • Inability to work due to health conditions that may increase susceptibility or risk of COVID, flu, RSV or similar respiratory illnesses
  • Needs to care for family (illness, school closure, etc.)

Employers cannot require documentation from employees to show that leave is for PHE-related needs. This 80-hour PHE leave will continue until four weeks after all applicable PHE declarations end or are suspended. Based on the current emergency declarations, PHE emergency leave will continue at least into February 2023, but will continue longer if either the federal or the state PHE declaration is renewed further into 2023.

Compliance Calendar


1/31 – Form 940 Filing Deadline (2022) 1/31 – Form 941 Filing Deadline (Q4)

1/31 – Forms W2 and 1099-Misc Distribution Deadline 1/31 – Forms W2 and W3 Filing Deadline


2/1 – Deadline for Posting OSHA Form 300A

2/28 – Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, and 1095-C Filing Deadline (paper filers)


3/2 – Deadline to Distribute Forms 1095-B and 1095-C 3/2 – Deadline to Submit Form 300A Data to OSHA

3/2 – Medicare Part D Creditable Coverage Disclosure Deadline for Calendar Year Plans 3/31 – Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, and 1095-C Filing Deadline for Electronic Filers


Lighthouse HR Support (LHRS) provides practical human resource information and guidance based upon our knowledge and experience in the industry and with our clients. LHRS services are not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. LHRS services are designed to provide general information to human resources and/or business professionals regarding human resource concerns commonly encountered. Given the changing nature of federal, state and local legislation and the changing nature of court decisions, LHRS cannot and will not guarantee that the information is completely current or accurate. LHRS services do not include or constitute legal, business, international, regulatory, insurance, tax or financial advice. Use of our services, whether by phone, email or in person shall indicate your acceptance of this knowledge.

Written By:

Kelly Murphy

Kelly Murphy

Senior HR Business Partner

Kelly brings a wealth of knowledge with nearly 30 years of human resource experience. She provides expertise in various human resource categories, including employee relations, performance management, HR Form creation/review (employee handbooks, job descriptions, etc.), employee/management training, workplace investigations, etc. Her human resource certifications include PHR (Professional Human Resources) and SHRM-PC (Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional). 

Kelly attended Colorado Mesa University and Waldorf University, where she earned a degree in Human Resource Management and Business Administration with Summa Cum Laude honors. She was named Western Colorado Human Resource Association Professional of the Year, 2013, and currently serves on the Board of Directors. She also is a member of the WCHRA Skills Development Committee, the WCCA Education Committee, and the Members/Events Committee. She serves as an Ambassador for both the Fruita and Palisade Chamber of Commerce.