As a direct result of SEIU-UHW’s hard work and our political action programs to elevate health care workers’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Legislature and Governor are including more than $1 billion for retention payments for healthcare workers in the state budget.
This will be a one-time payment of up to $1,500 for workers at hospitals, nursing homes/SNFs, and medical groups that are affiliated with a hospital system (like Permanente and the Dignity Health Foundation). We expect the payments to reach workers sometime in early 2023.
Full-time workers will receive a one-time bonus of $1,000, with a match for any employer-provided bonus above that amount, up to a total of $1,500. Full-time is defined as anyone who is either designated a full-time employee working onsite or is an on-site worker who was paid for at least 400 hours during a 91-day period after the bill becomes law.
Part-time workers will receive a one-time bonus of $750, with a match for any employer-provided bonus above that amount, up to a total of $1,250. Part-time is defined as someone who is not designated a full-time employee and who was paid for between 100 and 400 in-person hours during a 91-day period after the bill becomes law.
Approximately 30 days after the budget is signed by the Governor, there will be a 91-day “qualifying work period” that will determine if an employee works enough hours to qualify for part-time or full-time. This qualifying work period will be approximately August-October, but the exact dates will depend on the state.
Employers will submit that data to the state, and the state will send each employer the money to pay the bonuses to their employees. The exact timing depends on when the budget gets signed and how quickly the state moves to implement it, but bonuses are likely to be paid to workers sometime early next year.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much will my bonus be? Full-time workers will receive $1,000 and part-time workers will receive $750. You can get up to an additional $500 if your employer also provides a bonus above those amounts any time 12/1/2021-12/31/2022.
What if I don’t get a bonus from my employer until later in the year? Bonuses paid by the employer 12/1/2021-12/31/2022 that are above $1,000 for full-time workers or $750 for part-time workers are eligible for the state match.
I’m classified part-time, but I work full-time hours most of the time. Will I get the full-time bonus amount? You will get the full-time bonus amount if you are paid for at least 400 hours during the 91-day qualifying window. That is an average of about 31 hours per week.
I’m classified full-time, but I haven’t been working that many hours recently. Will I get the full-time bonus or the part-time bonus? If you are classified full-time, you will get the full-time bonus amount, regardless of the number of hours actually worked or paid.
When will I get my bonus? The exact timing will depend on when the budget is signed and how quickly the state can implement the program. You can anticipate the state bonus check to arrive early next year
Will new employees get a bonus too? Yes. In order to qualify, healthcare workers would need to be employed during the qualifying work period. The exact date of that qualifying period will depend on when the budget gets signed, but it will be approximately August through October 2022.
Why will it take so long to receive the bonus? It will take some time for the state to determine who is eligible, which will be based in part on an employer submitting the names of workers to state, including the size of the state bonus for each of its eligible workers. The state has created the guidelines for who will qualify and for how much. The employer’s role is to simply submit the names of its workers to the state and then distribute the checks to the workers.
How will I get my check? Your employer will send you a check but your employer will be reimbursed by the state for distributing that check.
What happens if my employer distributes an incorrect amount to me? The state will create a dispute resolution process that will allow a worker an opportunity to receive the full amount they are entitled to.