Santa Rosa likely to extend COVID-19 sick leave, make city workers eligible

in People

Santa Rosa appears likely to reinstate a program of expanded sick leave for local workers affected by COVID-19 after letting the system of extra paid time off lapse at the end of 2020 along with the underlying federal rules.

The City Council on Tuesday expressed a clear consensus to revive and extend to at least March 31 a version of the program it passed in July. Then, the city passed an expansion to a federal program that offers up to $5,110 over 80 hours of paid sick time to workers for most employers — though not to city employees — by removing a cap on compensation available to caretakers and applying the rules citywide to companies with 500 or more workers, which Congress left exempt.

The federal and local requirements both ended Dec. 31, though Congress extended through March the federal tax credits offered to businesses who give employees paid leave through the program, which covers those who are sick with COVID-19 or who have to take care of a relative because of the pandemic. Several California jurisdictions already have extended their programs, and Santa Rosa may consider extending their program to June 30 or indefinitely by linking it to the eventual end of the COVID-19 emergency.
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