The full effects of the Coronavirus pandemic have yet to be felt but many SEIU 721 members are already being impacted. Our union has been hard at work ensuring that members’ health and safety needs are given full and complete consideration as we work with LA County to help control the spread of COVID-19. Here are some major developments and policy changes.
The County has agreed to waive medical certification during the COVID-19 emergency, so that sick leave may be used for any COVID-19 related situation.
Employees Over Age 65 and those with Underlying Conditions
The County has agreed that employees in these higher risk categories should work remotely and continue to receive full pay without being required to use sick leave. If no remote work is available, some departments have placed employees on paid administrative leave. In other cases, employees are being told to use their leave time. The County is still considering the Union’s proposal that ALL higher risk employees who self-isolate continue to receive full pay without use of leave.
Telework and Modified Work Schedules
The County has agreed to the Union’s proposal to expand telework opportunities and modified work schedules during the COVID-19 emergency. Departments have been strongly encouraged to try to accommodate all such requests.
The County has agreed to place a moratorium on attendance-related corrective or disciplinary actions during the COVID-19 emergency.
Sanitation Stations and Personal Protective Equipment
The County has agreed to furnish hand-washing/sanitation stations in every County worksite, and is working to supply employees with necessary personal protective equipment. Employees who choose to use their own protective equipment will be allowed to do so.
Part-Time, Temporary, and Recurrent Employees
The County is working hard to develop plans to maintain the employment of part-time, temporary and recurrent employees during the emergency. And the CEO’s Benefits Division is working on a plan to allow part-time employees to maintain health benefits even if their hours are reduced.
Additional Paid Leave
The Union has proposed 80 additional hours of 100% sick pay and unlimited hours of 70% sick pay during the COVID-19 emergency. The County is analyzing recently enacted federal legislation and pending state legislation before responding to the Union proposal. The County has committed to providing a response as soon as possible.
Now, more than ever, is the time for us protect ourselves and one another by staying in contact with our union. It’s important we stay on the same page to avoid confusion and to focus on the facts. So make sure your co-workers are receiving these updates – which they can do by supplying our union with their most up-to-date contact information. It’s easy. Anyone can update their membership info here.
Together, we rise.