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Some Help from the CEO on Paid Leave Programs!

On Thursday, April 23, LA County’s Chief Executive Officer sent a letter to all Department Heads and Department Human Resources Managers with further guidance on the implementation of the COVID-19 Paid Leave programs. The letter can be found here. Here are the highlights:

 

  • All Departments are expected to begin to approve leave requests no later than Friday, April 24.
  • Departments cannot narrow the eligibility criteria established by the Department of Human Resources, and can only deny requests based on legitimate operational needs.
  • Departments that limit approval of childcare related leave requests are encouraged to consider hardships, such as the child’s health condition, special needs, or legal (foster) status.
  • Leave requests can be approved retroactive to April 1, when the programs took effect. (Time for the first half of April can be adjusted up until May 22.)
  • There will be a REVIEW PROCESS with Labor participation to reconsider certain requests that have been denied.

 

The CEO has heard our concerns and has taken these steps to ensure that the leave programs are available to as many employees as possible, while allowing for consideration of Departments’ operational needs during the COVID-19 emergency.

Categories: Covid19 | Los Angeles County
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F Cruz
Guest
F Cruz

For the COVIDLeave in Packet B has it been clarified if you can combine the 2/3 pay with other paid leave that you might have available (vacation hours, personal leave hours, etc.) to make 100% pay?

It is very clear that you can not do this for the COVID PAID Leave, but not with the COVIDLeave.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Any answer to the above question?

Bart
Guest
Bart

Sorry. I just don’t know. I am trying to get a definitive answer from the Department of Human Resources. (Since COVID Leave is a County-sponsored program it is not governed by Department of Labor guidelines.) Should have an answer today.

Maritza
Guest
Maritza

What does this mean ? So now DHS workers can apply and it might get approved ? I didn’t apply becuse I knew it was going to get denied so I just took ABwOP

Bart Diener
Guest
Bart Diener

DHS workers CAN apply. Here is my email address: bart.diener@seiu721.org. If you contact me there I can send you my phone number to discuss your circumstances.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

This new letter needs more clarification. Which leave can we use- Covid Leave or Covid Paid Leave? They have two different guidelines. Covid Leave states that it can only be used after the first 10 days of unpaid leave (accrued time can be used these first 10 days) and we can use up to 12 weeks of FMLA. Covid Paid Leave states that only 80 hours can be used. Can we use both leaves concurrently? And do we fill out the same form under “Packet B”?

Thank you.

Bart Diener
Guest
Bart Diener

If you are eligible, you can be approved for both leaves, but not concurrently. For leave based on a child at home due to school closure you would use COVID Paid Leave for the first two weeks (80 hours) and then switch to the COVID Leave for up to ten additional weeks. Apply for both using form in Packet B.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

In the form to request leave, can we check off “I am subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to Covid-19” since we are under a quarantine/isolation order issued by the Governor of California and Mayor of the City??

Bart Diener
Guest
Bart Diener

No, unfortunately not, because those orders exempt government employees and other “essential workers”.

Erika Montes
Guest
Erika Montes

Will you have to exhaust all other leave during the 2 week waiting period to use this leave? I hope not as I’m sure we would all like to hold onto that especially in light of these uncertain times.

Bart Diener
Guest
Bart Diener

No, during the two week waiting period you would use your 80 hours of COVID Paid Leave. For employees with children at home due to school closure, the two leave programs are designed to work together. First use COVID Paid Leave, then COVID Leave. (It’s more than a little confusing.)

Erika Montes
Guest
Erika Montes

Thank you for the info. My Jobsite has yet to give details on how/when to apply for this.

Bart Diener
Guest
Bart Diener

Where do you work? Each Department is expected to begin to approve requests this week. Fill-able request forms can be found on the Department of Human Resources website here: https://employee.hr.lacounty.gov/leaveforms/

Erika Montes
Guest
Erika Montes

I work at San Bernardino Superior Court.

anonymous
Guest
anonymous

If i applied for covid paid leave, how will i know its approved and will it reflect on my check Thursday or will it be adjusted later.

Anna Apodaca
Member
Anna Apodaca

Do we have a clause that grants us reimbursement for using personal laptops and our personal phones to telework from home. I call clients all day, and use my personal computer all day to conduct clinic business.

worker
Guest
worker

No. It’s in the telework agreement that the cost of using a personal device, such as a computer, laptop or home/cell phone, or Internet at home is our responsibility. Just use *67 to block your number when you call.

County Employee
Guest
County Employee

I don’t believe anything can be reimbursed for the personal laptop but personal phone yes.

The telework agreement says:

“I acknowledge that in the event that the County does not provide a cellular phone, the County will pay for all business-related telephone calls on my personal telephone or cellular phone. I will be required to submit my claims on a Travel Expense Claim form along with documentation to support the expense.”

John
Guest
John

Has any DHS employee received approval? I was told today from the LAC+USC HR department they were not accepting the COVID leave packages.

It’s all a big joke
Guest
It’s all a big joke

Nothing but smoke. DHS has dismissed every “update” from SEIU. We look like fools submitting phony SEIU leave packages.

Shronda M.
Guest
Shronda M.

I work at the La county Jail and we were emailed back on April 3 regarding COVID leave, and as of today, they are still not accepting our Packet B paperwork. Do you know if they will start accepting them ever?

Bart
Guest
Bart

We spoke on the phone Shronda. Keep me posted.

anonymous
Guest
anonymous

We still have notices posted throughout our department highlighting how we do not qualify for ANY time off. No vacation time off is being granted to front line staff but supervisors seem to be able to take time off……….

Bart
Guest
Bart

Which department? The paid sick leave programs are available to employees in ALL County departments.

Bart
Guest
Bart

The Union met with Health Services HR Management on Friday. They said that they would begin approving requests early this week. They have been ACCEPTING request forms, but most have been denied so far. DHS announced last week that they are not approving requests for paid leave for the care of children at home due to school closures, but the CEO responded by instructing Departments that they can ONLY deny requests based on operational issues. And the CEO established a REVIEW Process so that requests that are unfairly or unreasonably denied can be reconsidered. So, yes, DHS employees CAN apply… Read more »

John
Guest
John

Hi Bart,
Should I submit my package B to LAC+USC HR or DHS management?
Thanks,

Bart
Guest
Bart

Submit to LAC+USC Human Resoures.

County Worker
Guest
County Worker

So I guess no hazard pay for those that continued to work and will recieve zero benefits from this program?

Bart
Guest
Bart

Thousands of LA County workers are expected to be approved for paid sick leave programs. Those that are denied use of the sick leave will continue to have 80 hours in their leave bank. (It’s there now.) The Union has put the County on notice that, if employees are denied use of this leave during the COVID-19 emergency, we will be calling for the 80 hours to be converted into compensation.

anonymous
Guest
anonymous

and what of those that do not qualify for the sick leave programs: no children, single, not providing care for a relative

County Worker
Guest
County Worker

Thank you for the update. I was more referring to the circumstances anonymous asked below. Single, no children, able to work (and have been) to be provided hazard pay while working.

County Worker
Guest
County Worker

duplicate

Bart
Guest
Bart

Yes. But here’s the problem: By the end of this fiscal year ending in June, the County of Los Angeles is projected to have lost $1.3 billion in sales tax revenues due to the closure of businesses during the COVID-19 emergency. The federal government has bailed out businesses, corporations, and industries, but has provided practically nothing to state and local governments (and their workers) who deliver front line services during the pandemic. US Senate President Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) does not want to provide relief in the next stimulus and says that he’d rather that state and local governments go bankrupt… Read more »

Bart Diener
Guest
Bart Diener

Here’s a link to a story in today’s Washington Post that lays out the budget crisis facing cities and counties due to the federal government’s failure to provide financial relief:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/29/cities-states-layoffs-furloughs-coronavirus/