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<p><strong>July19, 2021.</strong> Excess lodging rate requests are required if the requested lodging rate is more than the state rate. All excess lodging rate requests for amounts above the delegated amount of $250 per night continue to require CalHR approval in advance. Departments shall continue to follow their current processes for completing and submitting excess lodging rate requests to CalHR.<br> <br>General Reminders<br></p><ul><li>​Departments shall review whether the requested lodging is in the best interest of the state before submitting requests to CalHR. All moderately priced lodging options are to be considered in order to determine the lodging that is in the best interest of the state. If an employee’s preferred hotel chain is not the lodging that is in the best interest of the state, then the lodging that is in the best interest of the state shall be selected.</li><li>Moderately priced lodging may include 2- and 3-star hotels in Concur.</li><li>Per <a href="https://www.dgs.ca.gov/Resources/ManagementMemos">DGS Management Memo 14-03</a>, all travel is to be booked through <a href="https://www.caltravelstore.com/">CalTravelStore/Concur</a>. It is CalHR’s understanding from DGS that conference rates and short-term rentals are allowable exceptions to booking lodging via CalTravelStore/Concur. Reasonable accommodations may also be allowable exceptions. For additional questions regarding the requirement to book travel via CalTravelStore/Concur, please contact DGS’s Statewide Travel Program at <a href="mailto:statewidetravelprogram@dgs.ca.gov">statewidetravelprogram@dgs.ca.gov</a>.</li><li>Lodging booked outside of Concur due to an allowable exception (such as a conference rate) must be clearly explained in the “justification for alternate booking arrangement” section of the <a href="https://www.documents.dgs.ca.gov/dgs/fmc/pdf/std255c.pdf">Excess Lodging Rate Request Form (STD 255C)</a>.</li><li>The three required comparison quotes must clearly include the requested travel dates (such as a Concur printout or screenshot).</li><li>“Headquarters City” refers to the employee’s headquarters city.</li><li>The current <a href="https://www.documents.dgs.ca.gov/dgs/fmc/pdf/std255c.pdf">Excess Lodging Rate Request Form (STD 255C)</a> has been available since October 2019. As noted in CalHR’s July 11, 2019, HR Announcement, CalHR will not accept requests submitted on outdated versions of the STD 255C.</li><li>Only submit completed forms to CalHR for review. Please include all department contact information and approval signatures.</li><li>State departments are prohibited from requiring any of their employees, officers or members to travel to, or approving a request for state-funded or state-sponsored travel to, any state that has enacted discriminatory laws or practices on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, subject to certain exceptions. To view the list of banned states, visit the <a href="https://oag.ca.gov/ab1887">California Attorney General's website</a>.</li><li>For rank-and-file employees, departments should review applicable Memoranda of Understanding for specific language governing travel.<br></li></ul>After-the-Fact Requests<br><ul><li>All after-the-fact requests must be submitted to CalHR with three comparison quotes for the requested travel dates (if available) along with an explanation for the late submission.</li><li>CalHR reviews after-the-fact requests on a case-by-case basis.</li></ul> <br>Annual Reports for Delegated Excess Lodging Rate Requests<br><ul><li>The reporting period for annual reports is July 1 – June 30 of each year. All departments who have approved delegated excess lodging rate requests are required to submit their annual reports to <a href="mailto:travelmanager@calhr.ca.gov">travelmanager@calhr.ca.gov</a> by August 31. Each department’s report must include all approved delegated requests. Please include department contact information in the submission email.</li><li>An updated Excel template for annual reports is now available in the “Forms” section of HR Manual section <a href="http://hrmanual.calhr.ca.gov/Home/ManualItem/1/2201">2201- Travel and Relocation Policy</a>.</li></ul> <br>Related HR Manual Policy: <a href="http://hrmanual.calhr.ca.gov/Home/ManualItem/1/2201">2201- Travel and Relocation Policy​​</a><p></p>Excess Lodging Rate Requests and Annual Reports - Reminders7/19/2021 7:00:00 AM
<p>Assembly Bill 1887 prohibits state agencies from requiring any of its employees, officers or members to travel to, or approving a request for state-funded or state-sponsored travel to, any state that has enacted discriminatory laws or practices on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, subject to certain exceptions.<br> <br>The Attorney General is adding the following five states to the restricted travel list. To view the entire list of banned states, visit the <a href="https://oag.ca.gov/ab1887" title="California Attorney General's website">California Attorney General's website​</a>.<br> <br>Florida – Effective July 1, 2021<br>Montana – Effective July 1, 2021<br>West Virginia – Effective July 8, 2021<br>Arkansas – Effective July 29, 2021<br>North Dakota – Effective August 1, 2021<br> <br>Previously approved discretionary travel to these states must be cancelled. All mission critical travel to banned states must be resubmitted to Department Directors and Agency Secretaries (or their designees) to ensure they meet the exception criteria. New mission critical trips not already submitted within an approved out-of-state travel blanket will require final approval from the Governor's Office through the individual trip request process.<br> <br>For additional information regarding AB 1887 and out-of-state travel, please review HR Manual section<a href="http://hrmanual.calhr.ca.gov/Home/ManualItem/1/2201" title="HR Manual section 2201 – Travel and Relocation Policy." target="_blank"> 2201 – Travel and Relocation Policy.​</a>​</p>The Attorney General Adds Five States to the Restricted Travel List for Out-of-State Travel7/13/2021 7:00:00 AM
<p>Effective April 1, 2021, COBRA continuation coverage provides qualified Assistance Eligible Individuals (AEI’s) and their beneficiaries a temporary COBRA premium subsidy pandemic relief for their continued health, dental and vision plan coverage from April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021. This premium subsidy is 100 percent paid by the employer and the employer is reimbursed via a new Medicare Health Insurance tax credit.<br> <br>An AEI is eligible for the COBRA subsidy if they experience either of the following qualifying events: An involuntary termination of employment (other than for gross misconduct) or a<br>reduction in hours, which causes an individual to lose employer health, dental or vision plan eligibility. Departments must inform all AEI’s of the availability of the COBRA subsidy premium assistance.<br> <br>Department of Labor guidelines and model notices can be found on the CalHR website​</p>American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Temporary Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) Premium Subsidy5/24/2021 7:00:00 AM


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