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Human Resources Department

Staff Development and Wellness Allowance Program

Wellness and Physical Fitness

Tax Treatment: Taxable
Applies to: Groups 1, 21

In support of the Board of Supervisors initiative to be the healthiest County in California, the County provides this annual allowance which can be used towards a variety of options which promote physical activity, wellness and work-life balance. The goal is to provide County employees as many options and as much flexibility as possible to find a physical activity which promotes aerobic exercise, flexibility, and/or strength training.

In support of the County’s Strategic Plan to invest in the local economy and to promote “LIVE-WORK-PLAY SONOMA,” County employees have access to a wide variety of activities, services, equipment and products within Sonoma County and are encouraged to "Buy Local".

Allowable Reimbursement Costs


Class 1 Electric Bikes

  • Low speed pedal-assisted electric bike up to 20 mph, power up to 750 watts

Entry, Registration, Participation, and League Fees

  • Fees for participation in group, team, or league sporting activities
  • Softball League
  • Golf League
  • Foot Race Entry Fees (5k,10k, Marathon, Sonoma County Human Race, etc.)
  • Bicycle Race Entry Fees (Le Tour de Fuzz, Sonoma County Backroad Challenge, etc.)

Note: Fees for individual employee participating on a team only. Fee for entire team excluded

Fitness Classes

  • Physical fitness / exercise classes, certified trainers
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Zumba
  • Boot Camp
  • Tai Chi
  • Indoor Group Cycling

Note: Travel, lodging, and food are not reimbursable under Wellness (e.g. health, wellness, and fitness retreats)

Health and Wellness Promotion & Education

  • Classes and educational programs with primary focus to improve health and wellness.
  • Wellness workshops, on-line training
  • Includes meditation, massage, and acupuncture

Note: Travel, lodging, and food are not reimbursable under Wellness (e.g. health, wellness, and fitness retreats)

Health Club Membership

  • Offsite health clubs
  • Health club physical fitness/exercise classes

Park Passes

  • Annual cost for an individual park pass

Personal Training

  • Strength training
  • Pilates reformer training
  • Personal training
  • Suspension System training
  • Fitness Assessments

Physical Fitness Products and Equipment

  • Sporting and exercise equipment, athletic safety and protective gear, running shoes, weights, gloves, exercise mats

Note: Excludes clothing, fitness apparel, and uniforms

Recreational Classes and Sport Lessons

  • Personal training and individual coaching
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Karate
  • Ice Skating
  • Dance classes

Smoking Cessation Programs

  • Smoking cessation programs
  • Patches
  • Stress reduction programs

Weight Reduction Programs

  • Exercise programs
  • Diet management programs (Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, etc.)
  • Stress reduction programs
  • Nutrition Classes
  • Healthy eating and cooking classes to support health related goals
  • Weight loss coaching

Note: Excludes food, food preparation equipment and food and nutritional supplements, medications; Excludes residential dietary/weight loss programs


1Group definitions include the following bargaining units:

  • Group 1: ESC (75), SCLEA (30,40,41,70), SCPA (45), SCPDIA (55,56), SCPDAA (60), SEIU2 (01,05,10,25), WCE (21)
  • Group 2: Local 39 (85)
  • Group 3: Salary Resolution (00,49,50,51,52)

2SEIU MOU allows staff development reimbursement through 6/30/2025

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Examples of Non-Allowable Costs for Reimbursement

The following provides a list of exclusion examples. This list is not all inclusive, and the County reserves the right to exclude any expense which may not conform to the intent for the use of County funds or resources. Employees are encouraged to seek guidance from the Department of Human Resources at for clarification of these exclusions and reimbursable expenses before incurring the expense.

  • Apparel, clothing, and uniforms
  • Backpacks, backpacking tents and other related products
  • Baths such as enzyme baths, mud baths, and other similar services
  • Coolers
  • Credit card statement payments
  • Electric and motorized vehicles (e.g. boats, electric scooters, electric skateboards, electric hoverboards, golf carts)
  • Electric Class 2 and Class 3 bikes
  • Eyeglasses, sunglasses, contact lenses and other similar products
  • Financed amounts or installment agreements for purchased goods (Only the monthly installment bill with proof of payment is eligible for reimbursement)
  • Food, food and nutritional supplements (e.g. whey protein, probiotics, Vitamin B12, fish oil and other similar supplements), food preparation equipment
  • Gift cards, gift certificates, in-store credits – purchases paid using these and other similar forms of payment cannot be reimbursed
  • Homeopathic medicine and similar items (e.g. cannabis, CBD, and other remedies made from natural sources)
  • Hunting, fishing, and camping expenses
  • Hypnotherapy, aromatherapy, diffusers and other similar services and products
  • Installation costs
  • Interest costs on leases, lease purchases, loans, etc. for purchased goods
  • Loans and loan fees
  • Lockers and locks
  • Magazine subscriptions, newspapers, periodicals, or journals of general circulation, such as Time, Newsweek, Press Democrat, Wall Street Journal, etc.
  • Maintenance costs
  • Medical equipment and supplies, medicine, medical treatment, medical services and similar expenses which are not medically necessary and would not otherwise be covered through a County-offered health plan or which may be FSA eligible
  • Parts replacement, add-on parts
  • Personal grooming services, such as facials, manicures, pedicures, Botox injections, or other cosmetic enhancements.
  • Personal living furniture (e.g. reclining chairs, armchairs, massage chairs, dining tables, side tables, coffee tables, lighting fixtures, beds, mattresses, massage chairs and vibrating chairs)
  • Provisions for pets or animals, including animal boarding
  • Psychotherapy
  • Rental fees associated with storage
  • Repair costs
  • Residential programs
  • Retreats that include travel, lodging, and food
  • Service, maintenance agreements, and warranties
  • Swimming pools, spas, saunas, hydrotherapy pools, or other similar items
  • Team fees (only the individual’s fee to participate on team is covered)
  • Temporary living structures such as tents or trailers