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paid sick leave

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

in News

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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