Update! Court Re-open Plan

Dear Court Member,

Over the past ten (10) weeks, we have witnessed unprecedented events related to the COVID-19 pandemic. As you enter the workplace, it is more important than ever for the Court to apply a common sense approach in providing a safe work environment. As the Court announces the plan to gradually reopen, it is normal to have health and safety concerns.  As you return to your Justice Center, there may be different variations to workplace norms and procedures. If at any point you are concerned, you should communicate with your immediate supervisor and/or Human Resources.  In all cases, you can contact OCEA.

If you are concerned about returning to work and fall under one of the qualifying categories of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), you may be eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) or Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL). If you have questions about initiating leave requests, reach out to an HR representative in the Benefits & Disability Programs (BDP) unit by emailing hrbenefits@occourts.org.  You can read a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document here

Today, a safe work environment looks very different than it ever has and requires employers to follow Cal/OSHA guidance. The state of California has provided guidance for all sectors of the economy to follow to ensure community safety.  Even with the law's protection, we continue to monitor the actions of the Court and have the right to demand tha safety measures are in place for members. That includes ensuring you are provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) and social distancing. If your are concerned that your supplies or the safety measures in your workplace are inadequate, you should immediately notify your supervisor. If you feel your concerns have not been resolved, you should contact us for assistance. 

Additionally, our MOU provides a robust safety provision that allows for one (1) Safety Representative at facilities with fewer than one hundred (100) bargaining unit employees. For facilities with one hundred or more bargaining unit employees, one (1) Safety Representative may be selected for each one hundred (100) employees. Court Stewards will be given the opportunity to express interest in serving as an SR and eventually assemble into another layer of protection for members. Once the team has been established, you will be given the contact information for the SR or SRs at your Justice Center.

Last week the Court notified you of the Governor’s budget that indicated an approximate $13 million dollar impact to Orange County Superior Court.  We are working closely with our Sacramento advocate and a coalition of unions representing Court systems. The negative impact the cuts will have on the administration of justice in Orange County have been communicated to state budget committee chairs and the County's legislative delegation. Our team in Sacramento has been advocating aggressively for Orange County Court workers and we will continue to monitor this fluid situation.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact either Danielle Chau at Dchau@ocea.org, Michelle Rubio at Mrubio@ocea.org or Bridgette Harris at Bharris@ocea.org.


Be sure to monitor your vacation leave and exercise your rights to either use or cash-out time to avoid reaching your maximum accruals. 

We will get through this unprecedented public health crisis together. 

In Solidarity,

Your OCEA Team

Publication Date: May 29, 2020