County agendizes Emergency Paid Sick Leave for next weeks Board meeting

Dear OCEA members,

Today concludes week two of OCEA’s response to the unprecedented workplace impacts triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Protecting the community is what you and your coworkers signed up to do, and nurses, social workers, educators, public safety officials, and others are meeting that challenge every day. In a crisis like this, there are no “non-essential” public workers.

The Board of Supervisors agendized an Agenda Staff Report today recommending adoption of Emergency Paid Sick Leave at next Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting. You can view the report here. This is a common sense action we have been pressuring them to take—along with many other common-sense solutions—since COVID-19 health emergencies were declared. You can read OCEA’s position paper here.

In the proposal, workers are entitled to Emergency Paid Sick Leave for certain coronavirus, or COVID-19, related reasons. Recommended provisions include:

  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave will commence effective April 1, 2020;
  • The County will pay all impacted employees their regular pay for the 80 hours of Emergency Paid Sick Leave, not subject the caps included in federal legislation;
  • Any hours used prior to April 1, 2020 are subject to current COVID guidance and FAQs.

Other workplace protections we have demanded have already been implemented, including more telecommute options, flexible work arrangements, and closure of public buildings and facilities to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus. We remain committed to fighting for enhanced protections for frontline workers and for hazard pay that reflects the risks public workers are taking to fulfill their mission to protect the public.

We will have other important updates we want to share with you in a Membership Briefing Call on Tuesday, March 31 at Noon and 5:30 p.m. You only need to attend one session as the same information will be presented during each call. Stay tuned for details on how you can participate and submit questions for this Briefing Call.

The work you are doing in this crisis is inspiring. Working families built this County, making it the great place to live that it has become. Public workers like you who are performing their duties in the midst of this crisis have always risen to the moment and it’s a privilege to stand with you now and always.

In Solidarity,

Charles Barfield
OCEA General Manager

Publication Date: March 27, 2020