Santa Rosa expands mandate for paid pandemic sick time to cover more employers

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Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat

More Santa Rosa workers will be owed up to 80 hours of paid sick time amid the coronavirus pandemic after the City Council unanimously expanded the federal requirement to cover large employers, including national chains and businesses with more than 500 employees.

The council voted 7-0 on Tuesday to broaden that requirement, closing a loophole in federal pandemic legislation that mandated two weeks of paid sick leave for many employers, but not all.

The local changes cover companies with more than 500 workers that operate in Santa Rosa, as well as health care employees and emergency responders who do not work for government agencies, which are exempt. Such sick leave benefits are nearly universal in public sector jobs.

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