Employer Resources For COVID-19 Response 

In This Issue:3/22/20

  1. CSFA Update on COVID-19
  2. Families First Coronavirus Response Act
  3. Sample Letter for Employees of Essential Services
  4. CDFA Website Adds Coronavirus Resource Section

For More Information Contact Our Office:

(831) 479-4912
or [email protected]

CalFlowers Staff Representatives:

Director of Transportation
Chris Johnson

Marketing & Membership Services
Lani Conklin

Marketing & Events Manager
Monnaie Pepin

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Dear CalFlowers Member,

We wanted to share a release that we just received from California State Floral Association today, Sunday, March 22:

CSFA Update on COVID-19 – The California flower industry part of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce

Sacramento, CA -- In this time of uncertainty, the California State Floral Association, reassures the California floral industry, which includes growers of cut flowers, wholesalers, and retail shops, that they are part of the important food and ag sector which must continue to function as a vital service.

The federal government has identified 16 critical infrastructure sectors whose assets, systems, and networks, whether physical or virtual, are considered so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, economic security, public health or safety, or any combination thereof. In his Executive Order, Governor Gavin Newsom stated, “I order that Californians working in these 16 critical infrastructure sectors may continue their work because of the importance of these sectors to Californians’ health and well-being. Agriculture has been deemed one of the 16 sectors of critical infrastructure by the Executive Order of Governor Newsom. Floral is part of the food and ag industry, therefore critical infrastructure.  Please see Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order and the discussion from the Executive Order of Critical Infrastructure.

The floral industry is considered “essential” and allowed to continue to operate – employees need to adhere to keeping social distance from one another. Flower farmers can continue to operate and Retail Florists can stay open with curbside and delivery services – again keeping a social distance from each other.

Please read the Governor’s explanation page to the Department of Homeland Security Infrastructure designation.

Since it in unclear how long the coronavirus will continue to impact our state, we must treat important agriculture service industries with long-term goals in mind. 

Governor Gavin Newsom and members of White House administration have stressed the responsibility employees have to continue important operations provided by industries considered essential. Food and Agricultural businesses, including cut flowers, are included under this status and exemptions for their employees to come to work are allowed.

“We know the Stay at Home Order in California presents some confusion and challenges for both employers and employees”, said CSFA EVP Ann Quinn. “We are so thankful for the people who are continuing to serve the citizens of the state and country. We want to assure people that the California floral industry will continue to do our part”.

Please see links below for further information.

Congress Passes Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On March 18, Congress passed, and President Trump signed into law, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The FFCRA is a bipartisan effort to help employers and individuals alike in managing pay, benefits, and business considerations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus of this alert is the impact of FFCRA on employer-sponsored benefits and paid leave. The paid leave provisions of the Act apply to employers with less than 500 employees.  They are effective within 15 days from date of enactment and expire at the end of 2020, unless extended. 

Click Here to read more.

Sample Letter for Employees of Essential Services

As you may be aware, California Governor Newsom yesterday issued a statewide Stay at Home Order for all residents in California.  We recognize this order may create some challenges and confusion for both employers and employees of businesses deemed as essential in this crisis.

AAMSI has provided us with the below sample letter that California food and agriculture businesses may find useful to share with employees. We encourage you to personalize this letter to provide your employees with any specific information about additional safety precautions in place to protect their health and to outline any services, such as childcare, that may be available to them.  

Although the Governor’s order directs all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence, it specifically states this does not apply to employees of operations determined critical infrastructure sectors, which includes agriculture. You can find a list from the Department of Homeland Security outlining what types of businesses qualify for exemptions from orders such as the one issued in California yesterday.  You can find that list here

Governor Newsom has emphasized that Californians working in 16 critical infrastructure sectors-which includes food and agriculture-may continue their work because of the importance of these sectors to Californians' health and well-being. It is critically importantly the food supply be maintained. 

Sample Letter to Employees 

CDFA Website Adds Coronavirus Resource Section

The California Department of Food and Agriculture has added a new section to its website with information for California's agriculture industry. This can be found here. We suggest you bookmark this and visit regularly for updates.

Thank you,

CalFlowers Board and Staff

538 W. Trimble Road, San Jose, CA 95131 | www.cafgs.org 

Ph. 831-479-4912 | Fax 831-479-4914