Leaves for COVID-19
The Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA) requires all employers, regardless of size, to provide paid sick leave during a declared public health emergency. Two weeks of an employee's regularly scheduled hours (up to 80 total hours) will be paid at their regular rate.
Isolation and Quarantine Leaves help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who are sick or have been exposed to people who are sick. Employees may also take a leave if an accommodation request cannot be made.
Please note: this is an evolving situation.
All changes are updated on this page as they occur.
Visit the Colorado Department of Labor for even more information on COVID-19 related leaves for employees.
Accommodation Requests for COVID-19
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and/or under the governor’s current executive order, you may qualify for a COVID Related Accommodation as a Vulnerable Individual, Vulnerable Individuals living in your household, or if you have childcare needs due to COVID related closures.
Vulnerable Individuals are people at higher risk for severe illness and are defined by the CDPHE. For more information on who is considered high risk, please visit the CDHPE website.
Under the Governor's Executive Order, Vulnerable Individuals are defined as being:
- 65 years and older
- Diagnosed with cancer
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Immunocompromised (as determined by a licensed healthcare provider)
- Body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher
- Serious heart condition, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardriomyopathy
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Currently pregnant
- Declared high risk by a licensed healthcare provider for a reason not listed here.
Potential accommodations for employees who fall into these categories include:
- Working remotely (in your current placement or in a different placement working with students who choose a full-time remote option in the fall).
- Working in-person, but with increased safety measures to protect the health of the employee.
- Working a Flexible Schedule (both from home and in the workplace). The Principal/Manager is responsible for setting the schedule.
**Note: These are only examples. The accommodations that can be made in your case may depend on the nature of your disability or “Vulnerable Individual” status, your job duties, your work location and other factors.
Accommodation Periods: Accommodation will be granted through the duration of executive orders, unless extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended.
Appealing COVID Related Accommodation Denials
Appeals must be submitted within ten (10) days of the denial letter. If the Leave of Absence Team does not receive your appeal within ten (10) days of the denial letter, the decision will be considered final.
Send your appeal to LeaveOfAbsence@dpsk12.org.
Who will communicate the results of my COVID-related accommodation request to me?
Your supervisor will reach out to you directly regarding your request and to discuss possible accommodations with you. This differs from our traditional ADA process. Due to a high volume of these requests and the unique situations of each school or location, we have partnered with supervisors to work through the review and approval process for COVID-related accommodation requests only. HR Partners are providing resources to supervisors to help this process go as smoothly as possible. Traditional ADA requests will still follow our regular process flow with the Leave of Absence Team.
If approved, you will receive a formal letter from DPS outlining your accommodation and accommodation period.
We have received a significant volume of requests. As there are several unique variables in each request, it takes some time to work through each one. We are reviewing them as quickly as possible. We appreciate your patience. Your supervisor will be in touch with you as soon as possible.
What if DPS can’t fulfill my accommodation request?
We will make every effort to approve accommodations, but we cannot guarantee approval. The district will prioritize requests for vulnerable individuals and those with disabilities. All DPS employees are expected to work in-building unless your accommodation request is approved. If your accommodation request is denied, you may still have the option for a Leave of Absence under HWFA.
What are my options if I live with/am a caretaker for a high-risk individual?
If you live with a “Vulnerable Individual” as defined by the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA), you may be eligible for an accommodation or a Leave of Absence.
What are my options if I have one high-risk conditions under the Governor's Executive Order or a Pre-Existing Condition?
In order to work remotely, you must submit an accommodation request in Employee Space. Accommodations are made on an individual level. After submitting your request, your supervisor will reach out to you directly to determine what accommodation may be available for you. Some examples include, but are not limited to, working remotely full-time, flexible schedules, or Leave of Absences.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and COVID-19 Guidelines, and/or under the governor’s current order regarding “Vulnerable Individuals,” employees may qualify for an accommodation. Information on what qualifies as a Vulnerable Individual can be found here.
*Accommodation periods are determined by the current executive order.
What if I don't test positive for COVID but have a fever or am feeling ill?
Stay home if you are sick. You can return to work when (1) your symptoms subside and you are fever free (without medication) for 24 hours, AND (2) there is a known alternate medical diagnosis from a medical provider (3) AND your return complies with other CDPHE guidance. For more information refer to the complete COVID-19 Decision Tree.
What accommodations will be made for educators who are hard of hearing and rely on hearing aids/lip reading?
In this instance, you will need to follow the Traditional ADA process and work with the ADA team. You can find information on ADAs and potential accommodations by visiting the ADA page.