Here's what you need to know about the retention bonuses that California's Community Clinics workers have won.

Community clinic workers are stronger together. By uniting and bringing lawmakers’ attention to the struggles we face, we were able to secure more historic investment in workers. This is the first time in our state’s history for all community clinic workers to receive $1,000 retention bonuses. Learn more about what we’ve won by exploring the frequently asked questions (FAQ) below.

A retention bonus is a one-time payment to encourage workers to continue working in community clinics.

All community clinic workers, or employees of a Federally Qualified Health Center, rural health centers, FQHC look-a-likes, Indian health centers and intermittent health centers, in California who are not in management or in supervisory positions are eligible for the bonus.

You need to be employed with your clinic as of 12/28/22 and remain employed there when the bonuses are distributed.

Both full-time and part-time employees who meet the criteria are eligible.

Each eligible community clinic worker will receive $1,000.

Employers have to submit their eligible employee’s names to the state, which will then process the amounts and provide payments to employers to distribute to eligible workers. This may take up several months, depending on when your employer submits eligible names, when the state processes payments to clinics, and when your employer distributes them. Payments are tentatively expected in the spring of 2023.
  • 11/15/22-12/28/22: Clinic (Employers) need to register with DHCS 
  • 12/29/22-1/27/23: Clinic (Employers) who have registered will receive an application and will need to apply to receive the funding
  • Beginning February 2023: State distributes  funds to clinics and clinics need to distribute bonuses within 60 days of receiving the funds

You can find the guidelines from the CA Department of Healthcare Services here.

You will be eligible to receive the one time retention bonus even if you are currently on or will be on Family /Medical Leave.

As a voluntary program, there is a possibility that your employer may choose not to participate. If that happens, we encourage you to:

  • Sign our open letter calling on all clinics in CA to apply for the funding to get clinic workers the bonuses that we worked hard to secure.
  • Report whether your clinic has committed to apply or not to apply and someone from CCWU will follow-up with you.
  • Stay in communication for the latest meetings or actions so that we can make sure we do everything we can to get as many clinic workers the bonuses 

Clinic workers have power when we stand together. Union and nonunion clinic workers alike united to win the inclusion of this bonus in the state budget. We are prepared to stand with workers at specific clinics to ensure they receive the benefit of this historic victory.

Together, we can hold employers accountable and demand that every clinic worker receive this $1,000 bonus that we worked so hard to win.

Workers in hospital clinics will be receiving a separate retention bonus for hospital workers.

You can learn more about those bonuses here.

Workers do not qualify to get both the clinic retention bonus and the hospital bonus

If your clinic dispersed the bonuses and you believe you should have received it, please let us know.

This retention bonus is for ALL clinic workers, regardless of whether or not you have formed a union at your clinic.

CCWU is a movement of clinic workers. We are uniting together not just for a retention bonus, but to structurally improve our clinics for the benefit of patients and workers alike. This benefit is not just for SEIU union members, but for all eligible FQHC staff—and all are welcome to join our movement.

Some employers are trying to confuse clinic workers and would rather lose out on dollars that we have won for clinic workers.

It is possible that some employers would do this because they are afraid that workers can see the power that we have when we unite together, and may be afraid that their employees could become interested in forming a union.

If you encounter these issues, please reach out and we will try our best to help.

Yes. Employers have a couple of options for how to distribute the money for tax purposes. The majority of employers will most likely treat this as a bonus to employees, and this means they will provide the bonus as part of their compensation for W2 employees. Taxes will be taken out by the employer.

This bonus is not a finish line but a starting line—join our movement of clinic workers and help us continue our fight for the improvements workers and patients alike need.

Someone who meets all of the following criteria:

  1. Duties and responsibilities that involve management of the clinic.
  2. Directs work of two or more other employees of the clinic.
  3. Has authority to hire or fire other employees, or their recommendations can lead to the hiring, firing or promotion of other employees.
  4. Exercises discretion and independent judgment.
  5. Engaged in duties that meet the test of exemption. 
  6. Monthly salary equivalent to no less than 2 times the state minimum wage for full time employment

Retention bonuses are an important first step in making sure that our community clinics have the necessary resources to invest in the workers. We are the backbone of our community clinics, and by uniting together in SEIU, we have the power and the voice to advocate for ourselves, our families, and our patients. When we fight, we win!