Sonoma County mulls expanding paid sick leave after Santa Rosa’s swift support

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Sonoma County is taking a deliberate approach to a potential expansion of paid coronavirus sick leave for local employers after a speedy passage of similar Santa Rosa rules last month.

County supervisors on Thursday are scheduled to publicly discuss with their legal staff provisions to expand federal law that in March required many businesses to offer two extra weeks of paid time off for infected workers or those caring for someone afflicted by COVID-19. The Board of Supervisors then could vote on the resulting legislation on Aug. 18, when a four-fifths vote could put it in place immediately.

Santa Rosa and a handful of other California cities already have passed sick leave expansions of their own, urged on by labor advocates who say that if workers don’t have adequate paid time off for illness, they’ll feel forced to work while sick, potentially contributing to the spread of COVID-19.

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