Resources For COVID-19 And Other Announcements

In This Issue:7/28/20

  1. Employer Playbook for Safe Reopening
  2. Key Assembly & Senate Working Groups Unveil Joint $100 Billion Economic Stimulus Plan
  3. New Support for Central Valley Workers

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Employer Playbook for Safe Reopening

Yesterday Governor Newsom announced that the State has issued a new Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening, which contains guidance regarding all of the following. 

Requirements employers must satisfy to provide safe and clean work environments. This guidance expands on the existing industry specific guidance and checklists, the most current versions of which can be viewed using the following link:

What to do if there is a case of COVID-19 in the workplace. Importantly, this section contains the most current guidance to help employers determine when employees should be permitted to return to work after they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have been exposed to COVID-19 (pages 13 – 15). Please note that the CDC’s guidance has changed since the last time our office provided our General Guidance materials. In addition to reviewing the standards set forth in the Employer Playbook, you should look at the websites of all Counties in which you operate, as the Counties are permitted to issue varying standards. Employer reporting obligations and employee leave rights (paid and unpaid) are also described in this section. You should document each employee’s COVID-19 circumstance, your response, the employee’s leave rights and standard you used to allow the employee to return to work. 

Worker education topics and enforcement of mask requirements. The guidance summarizes the COVID-19-related issues employees are expected to understand, which establishes the criteria for your training obligations. Links are provided to assist in your training efforts. You should also continue to refer to the industry-specific guidance for your operation. Be sure to keep records of all of your training sessions, including who attended, the topics discussed and all written materials distributed to your employees. 

The Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening can be viewed using the following link:  

The Employer Playbook contains many links to additional websites, which should also be reviewed as applicable to your operation. 

Although the documents issued by the State are described as “Guidance” you should treat the standards described in the documents as Orders and ensure that your operation and employees strictly comply with all applicable requirements. The Labor Commissioner’s Office, CalOSHA, ABC and other agencies are conducting enforcement visits to determine whether businesses are complying with the applicable standards and are issuing citations to those who are not. 

In addition to the Employer Playbook, Governor Newsom announced he is working with the Legislature and key stakeholders to expand critical protections for employees, including paid sick leave. The Governor’s announcement can be viewed using the following link:

Key Assembly & Senate Working Groups Unveil Joint $100 Billion Economic Stimulus Plan

Key working groups from both houses of the California State Legislature announced yesterday they are prioritizing economic recovery in the final weeks of session and have developed a joint $100 billion stimulus plan. 

The stimulus plan aims to raise $100 billion through a new tax voucher program and the acceleration of other existing revenue streams. The money would be used to boost the economy and protect jobs, small businesses, and working families.

The working groups will also seek input from the Newsom Administration, including the Governor’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery, and from the public. Both houses will work together to approve measures by the August 31, 2020, legislative deadline and identify priorities for the next session. An outline of the plan is attached and available here.

New Support for Central Valley Workers

Governor Newsom announced yesterday additional targeted actions to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the Central Valley – a region seeing concerning virus spread that is disproportionately impacting Latinos. The announcement will include $52 million for the Central Valley, this includes: San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern, to help ramp up testing, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine efforts. Additionally, the state will deploy Unified Support Teams to Central Valley counties that are experiencing increased cases and hospitalizations.

Specifically, the program will focus on:

Helping Workers Isolate and Quarantine

A new program, Housing for the Harvest, provides safe, temporary isolation spaces for agricultural and farmworkers who test positive or were exposed to the virus, which limits the risk of spreading COVID-19 to their coworkers or households. This program will operate in partnership with counties and local partners in the Central Valley, Central Coast, and Imperial Valley – the regions with the highest number of agricultural workers.

Outreach and Education

Building on California’s public awareness campaign to #WearAMask and #StoptheSpread, the campaign will expand its reach to employers, to workers and to their families to inform them of ways they can break the cycle of spread and reduce their risk for COVID-19 at work, at home, and in their community. This effort will leverage the public service media campaign and build a more comprehensive community engagement strategy to include work with community-based organizations, labor unions and worker advocacy groups to directly reach workers.

Support for Employees

Governor Newsom will work with the Legislature to build on previous executive actions and advance worker protections. Expanded paid sick leave will provide workers financial security so they are able to stay home when sick. Similarly, workers’ compensation access helps ensure that front-line workers can quarantine and stay home from work when ill.

Employer Resources

As California businesses work to reopen, a new Employer Playbook released today will guide them on how to provide a clean environment for workers and customers to reduce risk. Proactive education efforts led by the Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) will provide information and support to businesses to help them come into and stay in compliance, including technical assistance and a model training program.

Strategic Enforcement

Cal/OSHA and the Labor Commissioner’s Office will strategically enforce authority and advanced reporting of health and safety hazards at work that will improve enforcement outcomes. Requiring employers to report outbreaks to their local health departments will help track county transmission.

Below is a link to the detailed announcement:

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