Government Action and Advocacy
The Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business in the community.
The Chamber vigorously and effectively represents the diverse interests and 21st century challenges of our 500+ members by advocating for programs and policies that promote a high quality of life for residents and the local workforce, and sustainable job growth and retention for local businesses. A healthy business climate supports all sizes and types of businesses that in turn enhance the quality of life for all in the region.
The Chamber’s Government Action Committee, with oversight by the Board of Directors, monitors local government actions and policies while maintaining constructive communication with local and regional officials. The Chamber does not endorse or contribute to candidates for office. However, to serve as an effective advocate for issues of interest to our mid-Silicon Valley business members, the Chamber researches and develops positions on education, housing, transportation, health care, climate protection, safety and security, as well as city, county and state regulatory issues impacting the business community; interacts with and provides input to the City of Palo Alto and Santa Clara County on matters regarding economic regulation and development; and actively supports and assists in implementing key projects that impact business success. Periodically, the Chamber holds a Business and Public Policy Forum (BAPPF) for civic and government leaders to meet with Chamber members in a roundtable discussion of issues and legislative proposals that affect the business community.
A collective voice will always be more powerful than a single voice.
Add your voice by becoming an active member of the Chamber's Government Action Committee.
For further information about our advocacy efforts, positions taken by the Chamber of Commerce on pending legislation, or to be notified of special policy forums and meetings, contact Judy Kleinberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Government Officials and Information
Palo Alto City Officials - Connect Here
City Agendas and Minutes - Connect Here
Board of Supervisors, 5th District - Connect Here
Assembly Member, 24th District - Connect Here
State Senator, 13th District - Connect Here
Office of the Governor – California - Connect Here
Congresswoman Anna Eshoo - Connect Here
U.S. Senator Kamala Harris - Connect Here
U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein - Connect Here
For non-partisan information and analysis of local legislative matters, contact the Palo Alto League of Women Voters - https://www.lwvpaloalto.org/
New Law for Employers
The full text of the FFCRA can be found here.
The FFCRA is a new federal law that requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide two new paid leave benefits for eligible employees affected by the COVID-19 virus in 2020. This applies only to those employees (not already laid off) who are home sick. The leave requirements generally provide paid sick time or paid leave under certain circumstances (as described more fully in the notice poster, link #4, below). The FFCRA also provides tax credits that may help employers provide the paid leave benefits.
The FFCRA helps the U.S. combat workplace effects of COVID-19 by reimbursing American private employers that have fewer than 500 employees with tax credits for the cost of providing employees with paid leave, taken for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The law enables employers to keep workers (who are home sick with COVID-19 related illness and therefore unable to work, even remotely) on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus. The Departmnt's Wage and Hour Division administers the paid leave portions of the FFCRA.
If an employer has fewer than 50 employees and providing the paid leave benefits would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern, the small business exemption may apply. Employers who believe they qualify for the exemption should document why the business meets the exemption criteria unless and until the Department of Labor issues additional guidance on claiming the exemption.
Effective April 1, 2020, employers are required to properly notify their employees of the new FFCRA leave benefits and implement the requirements.
Below are links to important resources that contain compliant employee notices, guidance, and recommendations for employers subject to the FFCRA.
- Department of Labor: COVID-19 and the American Workplace
- Fact Sheet: FFCRA – Employee Paid Leave Rights (in English)
- Fact Sheet: FFCRA – Employer Paid Leave Requirements (in English)
- Compliant FFCRA notice poster for private-sector employees (in English)
- Department of Labor FAQ for the FFCRA employee notice poster
courtesy of Montgomery & Hansen, LLP