SEIU participated in a meet and confer with Riverside County to discuss latest developments surrounding COVID–19.
One of the items of discussion was implementation of FFCRA (Families First Coronavirus Response Act) which allows leave time in the event you or someone you care for becomes symptomatic of or tests positive for COVID-19.
The act also allows up to 10 weeks of leave time for employees who have child care issues resulting from school closures. The only exception to the FFCRA are healthcare employees and emergency responders. As of now, Riverside County has not decided to include or exclude this group of employees. In the coming days, the County will decide on how to move forward.
Below is a summary of the FFCRA and how it is going to be applied in Riverside County as of today. The following information comes from the Department of Labor website:
“Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or”
“Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or to care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Labor;”
“and up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee, who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days, is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.”
Use of paid sick leave under this act is separate from an employee’s regular time banks. You are not required to utilize your regular time accruals (sick, vacation, PTO, etc.) to take time off pursuant to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
Members who utilize the COVID-19 paid sick leave may use their own existing time banks to make up the remaining 1/3 of salary.
In addition, we are working with the County to implement telework wherever possible. If you are denied the option to telework please contact your Worksite Organizer so they may discuss the matter with your supervisor.
Riverside County has implemented screening processes throughout all departments. Please let your worksite organizer know if your respective worksite is not screening employees for symptoms.
There is a nation-wide shortage on cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer. Riverside County and all employers are attempting to gather the necessary supplies to keep employees safe. In the meantime, we encourage everyone to wash your hands whenever you feel the need to do so. Handwashing is still the best method for disinfecting your hands to prevent acquiring COVID-19.