— On International Workers’ Day, Governor Gavin Newsom today
recognized the contributions and sacrifice of California’s essential
workforce, including health care workers, farmworkers, grocery workers,
teachers, care givers and countless others keeping the state operating
during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor highlighted state resources
available for essential workers and resources for those who may have
lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic.
May Day is particularly special as we recognize essential workers who
go to work every day to ensure that Californians are cared for in our
hospitals and nursing homes and in their own home, and that we can all
access essential services like food, child care and utilities during
this challenging time,” said Governor Newsom. “At the same time, many
California workers have been displaced and are struggling to get by.
Today we thank our essential workers and let those who have been
displaced by this virus know that we see you, we appreciate you, and we
have your backs.”
his daily press conference, the Governor outlined actions the
administration has taken to support workers impacted by the COVID-19
Worker Support and Safety
Child Care Funding:
The administration has created an additional 20,000 limited-term child
care slots for lower-income families and launched a new portal to help
connect parents with 28,611 local child care options.
Paid Sick Leave for Food Sector Workers: The
Governor took action giving two weeks of supplemental paid sick leave
to certain food workers, including farmworkers, restaurant and grocery
store workers to allow them to quarantine or isolate.
Hotel Rooms for Health Care Workers: The
administration worked with FEMA to allow health care workers to access
hotel rooms at no or little cost to protect their families or isolate
if they test positive or have been exposed
to COVID-19. To date, 7,709 reservations have been made,
representing 87,814 nights that have been reserved.
PPE for Health Care Workers: The
state received its first shipments of surgical masks totaling 8.3
million over the past few days and very quickly shipped them out
to hospitals and health care facilities.
Food Worker Hand-Washing Breaks: The
Governor issued an executive order increasing health and safety
standards by permitting workers at food facilities to wash their hands
every 30 minutes, or as needed.
Food Trucks at Public Rest Stops: Caltrans
has approved 14 permits to date, allowing truck drivers to access food
while working, and employing food truck workers.
Overtime Funding for Social Workers: The
Governor, using funds appropriated by the Legislature under SB 89,
provided overtime funding for social workers, which has allowed them to
conduct critical outreach to vulnerable adults. These social
workers have since reached out to over 173,000 at-risk
older Californians who are IHSS recipients.
Cal/OSHA Guidance: On
April 2, the Administration provided Cal/OSHA guidance to help protect
agriculture, logistics, grocery and health care workers.
California Health Corps: On
March 30, the Governor launched the California Health Corps to enlist
health care professionals with an active license, public health
professionals, medical retirees, medical and nursing students, or
members of medical disaster response teams in staffing the surge in
Stipends for SNF workers:
California is providing $500 stipends to licensed vocational nurses and
certified nursing assistants at skilled nursing facilities.
Support for Workers Who have Lost Their Jobs Due to COVID-19
Expediting Unemployment Insurance Claims: The
Governor directed the Department of Labor to waive the traditional
one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance and State Disability
Insurance. The Governor also ordered additional staff support at call centers to manage the increase in claimant filings.
Worker Training and Support: The Governor deployed $17.8
million in workforce development funds to support California
workers impacted by COVID-19 across the state. The funds will
support direct payments to dislocated workers impacted by the COVID-19
pandemic for costs associated with transportation, housing,
child care, and food.
Garnishment Action: On
April 23, the Governor took action to prohibit the garnishment of
individual relief assistance under the CARES Act, effectively ending
debt collectors from garnishing benefits.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance:
On April 28, EDD stood up a one-stop shop for individuals applying for
unemployment insurance and the new federal Pandemic Unemployment
Assistance (PUA) program.
Creating Good Jobs through Food Programs: The
administration has partnered with local governments to create food
programs that employ laid off restaurant and hospitality workers in
good jobs to serve seniors and other vulnerable Californians.