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  • Monday, October 19, 2020 6:02 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Monday, October 19, 2020, at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom provided an update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    The Governor opened today by discussing California’s COVID-19 vaccine plan.  He said California is 1 of 5 jurisdictions in the U.S. doing advance planning for vaccine distributions with CDC and DOD.  Further, Newsom noted that the state has vast experience in mass vaccinations— citing annual flu vaccines (19 million), H1N1, HepA, and childhood vaccinations as examples. 

    His Administration recently put together a vaccine steering committee and logistics taskforce.  Today, California is launching the Scientific Safety Review Workgroup.  These top health experts will independently review FDA-approved vaccines, Newsom said.  The group will also be closely monitoring vaccine trials. 

    Additional information on the Scientific Safety Review Workgroup can be found here: https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/10/19/governor-newsom-names-scientific-safety-review-workgroup-to-advise-state-on-covid-19-vaccines/.

    In the first phases, Newsom stated, there will likely be a limited supply of vaccines.  "These limited doses will be for a limited number of people and we don’t anticipate mass availability until 2021,” he said.

    Building on existing immunization infrastructure,  the state is now preparing for the unknowns including supplies needed for distribution such as needles/syringes, alcohol pads, etc.; storage requirements particularly cold storage/dry ice; data management CAIR: California Immunization Registry; and community education & engagement.

    The Governor also took a moment to note that vaccines will not end COVID-19 overnight.  However, he said, they are a key tool to help us manage this pandemic.  Prevention efforts such as wearing a mask, physically distancing, washing hands, limiting mixing, and slow & stringent reopening remain important.  Containment including testing and isolation is also important, as well as treatment.  Next Monday, Newsom will provide an update on testing.

    As he does regularly, Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 case numbers.  Specifically, he reported there were 3,474 new COVID-19 cases on October 18th, with a 2,966 case average for the past week.  The positivity rate is 2.5 percent in the most recent 14 day period and 2.4 percent over 7 days.  Also, hospitalizations and ICU patients continue to decline— a 4 percent decrease in COVID-19  hospital admissions over the past 14 days and a 3 percent decrease in COVID-19 ICU admissions over the past 14 days.  Newsom said despite progress,  the COVID-19 numbers are beginning to plateau.

    Tomorrow (and every Tuesday), Dr. Mark Ghaly will provided an update on how counties are faring under the state’s reopening framework.  Recall, there are 4 colored tiers - widespread is purple, substantial is red, moderate is orange,  and minimal is yellow.  

    Currently, the California county tier status stands as follows:

    • PURPLE: 10 counties
    • RED: 27 counties
    • ORANGE: 13 counties
    • YELLOW: 8 counties

    Newsom said Dr. Ghaly is set to announce interventions for counties struggling with COVID-19 rates tomorrow.  He will also release updated guidelines on theme parks.

    As always, Newsom closed by imploring Californians to wear a mask, physically distance, wash their hands, and minimizing mixing.  

    During the Q&A portion of the briefing, Newsom was asked about vaccine verification.  In response, he said the state will proceed with independent verification of any COVID-19 vaccine regardless of who is elected.  "We have to make sure they're safe, and they're effective."

    When asked, Newsom said his Administration is "not yet" considering quarantine restrictions on travelers from states with high COVID-19 case numbers.

    Regarding the distribution plan, Newsom reiterated, “we will not have a widely available COVID-19 vaccine in this calendar year.”  In 2021, we'll be "slogging our way through the distribution of millions and millions of doses of this vaccine."  California intends to focus its efforts on first vaccinating its critical populations, including healthcare personnel, essential workers, and other high-risk groups.  Further, he confirms that the state will demand its own review of any COVID-19 vaccine before allowing it to be distributed.

    The briefing concluded at 1:00 PM PDT.

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There are now a total of 867,317  (+0.3 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 16,943 (+0.3 percent) deaths in California.  As of October 17th, there have been 16,892,062 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here

    Also please note that the https://www.covid19.ca.gov/ website is being updated continuously. 

    Naomi Padron

    Legislative Advocate

    McHugh Koepke & Associates

    1121 L Street, Suite 103

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    (916) 930-1993

    www.mchughgr.com



  • Monday, October 12, 2020 1:04 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Monday, October 12, 2020, at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom provided an update on the state’s COVID-19 testing and contact tracing efforts.  He reported that the state is better positioned than ever to find, track, and isolate outbreaks.  California is averaging 125,000+ tests every day.  Further, 90 percent of individuals get their results back within 24-48 hours, which allows contact tracers to more efficiently and quickly do their jobs. 

    Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency Dr. Mark Ghaly offered additional details including the following figures: 10,982 total contact tracing staff trained, 1,800+ bilingual staff, and statewide remote support.   Additionally, 95 percent of local health departments can begin contact tracing investigations the same day as a department receives word of a positive case and 97 percent of local health departments are contacting all contacts exposed the same day.  He also said state teams are helping locals with school based modules and outbreak investigations. 

    The Governor then covered resources for isolation, including job-protected paid sick leave for California’s workforce; Housing for Harvest; Project Roomkey; 150M in federal funds to support counties; and 83M in philanthropic support to counties.

    As he does regularly, Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 case numbers.  Specifically, he reported there were 3,449 new COVID-19 cases on October 11th, with a 3,321 case average for the past week.  The positivity rate is “holding steady” at 2.6 percent in the most recent 14 day period and 2.6 percent over 7 days.  Also, hospitalizations and ICU patients continue to decline— 8 percent decrease in COVID-19  hospital admissions over the past 14 days and 13 percent decrease in COVID-19 ICU admissions over the past 14 days.  Newsom said despite progress on COVID-19, it would be a mistake to assume this virus is less deadly.  "Quite the contrary," he stated.

    Tomorrow (and every Tuesday), Dr. Mark Ghaly will provided an update on how counties are faring under the state’s reopening framework.  Recall, there are 4 colored tiers - widespread is purple, substantial is red, moderate is orange,  and minimal is yellow.  

    Currently, the California county tier status stands as follows:

    ­        PURPLE: 16 counties

    ­        RED: 24 counties

    ­        ORANGE: 11 counties

    ­        YELLOW: 7 counties

    Some counties are "teetering," Newsom said, adding that it is because this virus is "stubborn."  However, expect further updates tomorrow.

    As always, Newsom closed by imploring Californians to wear a mask, physically distance, wash their hands, and minimizing mixing.  He said also Dr. Ghaly will issue Halloween COVID-19 guidelines tomorrow. Further, on theme parks, he said he'll be visiting "several large theme parks" this week to talk about reopening -- but "we need to do so with a health-first frame.  A lot of that work will be advanced even further later this week with inside visits and deeper collaboration."

    During the Q&A portion of the briefing, Newsom was asked tattoo parlors.  In response, Dr. Ghaly noted the state is working with tattoo parlors to potentially ease COVID-19 restrictions, more coming at a later date.

    Regarding new “Guidance for Private Gatherings” which was issued last week, Dr. Ghaly said the guidance is meant to explain that anything "more than three households" elevates risk  and spread of disease.  Further, he framed it as harm reduction approach, with cooler temperatures and Halloween/other holidays approaching.  A copy of the guidance can be found here: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/CDPH-Guidance-for-the-Prevention-of-COVID-19-Transmission-for-Gatherings-10-09.aspx.

    On reopening, Newsom said he is walking a fine line, wants to continue reopening, but "with modifications" and with safety at top of mind.  "I want to make sure we get this right."

    The briefing concluded at 12:42 PM PDT.

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There are now a total of 846,579  (+0.5 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 16,564 (+0.4 percent) deaths in California.  As of October 10th, there have been 16,047,004 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here

    The https://www.covid19.ca.gov/ website is being updated continuously.  A complete list of the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts can be found here.

    Naomi Padron

    Legislative Advocate

    McHugh Koepke & Associates

    1121 L Street, Suite 103

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    (916) 930-1993


  • Thursday, October 08, 2020 10:56 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    CEA Logo

    Oct. 8, 2020

          3 New Covid-Related Bills                  Employers Need to Know About




    California State Capitol

    Previous Governors have waited until the last minute before knowing what new legislation we would have for the coming year. That's not the case this year! On September 17, Governor Newsom signed 3 bills (1 went into effect immediately!). Here's what you need to know.

     

    Read more >>


  • Monday, October 05, 2020 1:45 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Monday, October 5, 2020, at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom provided an update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

    Newsom said COVID-19 cases are increasing across the county. It takes 20-30 days to see upticks in hospitalizations, he said.  California is stable now, but that could change.  "Let us not take down our guard."

    He also addressed the latest COVID-19 numbers.  The state's coronavirus numbers are still trending down.  Specifically, he reported there were 3,055 new COVID-19 cases on October 4th, with a 3,074 case average for the past week.  The positivity rate is “holding steady” at 2.8 percent in the most recent 14 day period and 2.6 percent over 7 days.  Also, hospitalizations and ICU patients continue to decline— 13 percent decrease in COVID-19  hospital admissions over the past 14 days and 15 percent decrease in COVID-19 ICU admissions over the past 14 days.  The decrease in hospitalization and ICU rates, however, are "plateauing", he said.

    Tomorrow (and every Tuesday), Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly will provided an update on how counties are faring under the state’s reopening framework.  Recall, there are 4 colored tiers - widespread is purple, substantial is red, moderate is orange,  and minimal is yellow.  

    Currently, the California county tier status stands as follows:

    • PURPLE: 18 counties
    • RED: 22 counties
    • ORANGE: 15 counties
    • YELLOW: 3 counties

    “We anticipate some more counties tomorrow moving into yellow tiered status," said Newsom.  He also hinted that a new reopening tier could potentially be introduced at "the end of the year,"  and suggested he wants counties to eventually move out of the yellow reopening tier (currently the tier with the least restrictions).  However, no additional details were offered.

    As always, Newsom closed by imploring Californians to wear a mask, physically distance, wash their hands, and minimizing mixing.  

    During the Q&A portion of the briefing, Newsom was asked about the trigger cuts in the state budget set to take effect on October 15th.   He responded by stating that he is “still hopeful” that the state will get aid from the federal government via a stimulus package at some point.

    Regarding layoffs recently made by Disney and other large corporations, Newsom was asked what is being done to address the issue beyond unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.   The Governor used the opportunity to hammer the point that federal stimulus is needed.   

    He was asked if he has been tested for COVID-19.  Newsom said he continues to practice what he preaches in terms of wearing masks and practicing physical distancing.   He confirmed he has been tested on multiple occasions and has tested negative.

    The briefing concluded at 12:52 PM PDT.

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There are now a total of 823,729 (+0.5 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 16,120 (+0.3 percent) deaths in California.  As of October 4th, there have been 15,160,287 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here

    The https://www.covid19.ca.gov/ website is being updated continuously.  A complete list of the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts can be found here.

    Naomi Padron

    Legislative Advocate

    McHugh Koepke & Associates

    1121 L Street, Suite 103

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    (916) 930-1993

    www.mchughgr.com



  • Thursday, October 01, 2020 11:08 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)
    California Employers Association     

    Call Us: 800-399-5331

    3 New Bills Employers Need to Know About

    Posted by: Kim Gusman, President & CEO on Wednesday, September 30, 2020

    Previous Governors have waited until the last minute before knowing what new legislation we would have for the coming year. That's not the case this year. On September 17, 2020, Governor Newsom signed one bill which went into effect immediately and two other bills which will significantly impact California employers in 2021. Here's what you need to know.

    SB 1159 — COVID-19 Outbreaks at Work — Effective Now!

    Senate Bill 1159 was signed on September 17, 2020 and immediately went into effect. This bill is retroactive back to July 6, 2020. SB 1159 applies to all workers in California and expands workers' compensation access to front line workers, and employees exposed to COVID-19 during a workplace "outbreak."

    Police officers, firefighters, and health care workers — including janitors in contact with COVID-19 patients — are eligible if they get infected while on the job. All other workers are eligible for WC if their workplace experiences an "outbreak."

    An "outbreak" is defined as:

    • Four or more infected employees who work at the same location within a two-week period, for employers with 5 to 100 employees.
    • At least 4% of employees working in the same location being infected in a two-week period, for employers with more than 100 employees.

    The rules for first responders and health care workers are permanent. While the rules for all other employees are effective through January 1, 2023. (Yes, 2023!)

    Bottom Line for Employers: When there is a 14-day workplace outbreak, there is also a rebuttable presumption that employees who test positive were infected at work. Employees do not have to prove they were infected on the job to get benefits. In order to deny coverage, an employer must prove their employees did not get the virus while on the job.

    AB 685 — One-Day Workplace Notifications re: COVID-19

    Effective January 1, 2021, Assembly Bill 685 requires employers to notify employees of potential COVID-19 exposures in a timely manner. Under AB 685, once an employer learns that an employee or a subcontractor's employee has tested positive for COVID-19 (or been ordered to self-isolate for 14 days), they must provide written notice within one business day to other employees who worked at the same job site. The notice must contain information about what COVID-19 related benefits the employee is entitled to under federal, state, and local laws, and the employer's disinfection and safety plan. Employers are required to keep a copy of all notices provided to employees for three years. Finally, AB 685 requires employers to notify local public health agency officials within 48 hours that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19.

    Bottom Line for Employers: Written notices are due to employees within one business day after you are notified that an employee contracted COVID-19, and records must be retained for three years. Public health agencies must be notified of a COVID-19 case within 48 hours.

    SB 1383 — Expands CFRA to Employers with 5 or More Employees

    Effective January 1, 2021, Senate Bill 1383 expands the California Family Rights Act's (CFRA) leave protections to more employees. SB1383 requires employers to provide 12 weeks of CFRA leave to all employees who provide reasonable notice and a qualifying reason for leave. Employees will still need to meet eligibility requirements, including 12 months of service and 1,250 hours worked for the employer in the previous 12-month period, to qualify for family and medical leave. However, SB 1383 contains many significant changes:

    1. Small employer alert! Previously, the CFRA applied to employers with 50 or more employees. Now, it applies to all employers with 5 or more employees.
    2. Expands the definition of family member. Previously, leave to care for a family member was limited to an employee's child, parent, spouse, or domestic partner. Now, an employee can also obtain CFRA leave to care for a grandparent, grandchild, or sibling.
    3. Both parents get CRFA. Previously, employers who employed both parents of a child were permitted to grant a combined total of 12 weeks of leave. The new law requires an employer to grant up to 12 weeks of leave to each employee.
    4. Qualifying exigency. SB 1383 requires employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave during any 12-month period due to a qualifying exigency related to the covered active duty or call to covered active duty of an employee's spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent in the Armed Forces of the United States.
    5. Removes the "key employee" exception to reinstatement. SB 1383 no longer permits employers to refuse reinstatement of "key employees" under qualifying circumstances.
    6. Revokes the New Parent Leave Law (NPL) which provided 12 weeks of job-protected leave for employees to bond with a new child. NPL currently applies to employers with 20-49 employees and will expire on January 1, 2021.

    Bottom Line for Employers: Update your 2021 Employee Handbook regarding the new CFRA rights if you have 5 or more employees. If you have 50 or more employees and are covered by the federal Family Medical Leave Act, ensure you know the difference for eligibility and how they may impact your workforce.


  • Tuesday, September 29, 2020 10:08 AM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    News Release

    September 29, 2020

    For Immediate Release
    (916) 210-6000
    agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov



    Attorney General Becerra Issues Consumer Alert on Price Gouging Following State of Emergency Declarations in Del Norte, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Napa, Shasta, and Sonoma Counties

    SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra issued a consumer alert following the Governor’s declaration of a state of emergency for the counties of Napa, Shasta, and Sonoma due to fires. Additionally, on September 25, the Governor declared a state of emergency for the counties of Del Norte, Los Angeles and Mendocino due to various fires which have burned thousands of acres, destroyed homes and caused the evacuation of residents. Attorney General Becerra reminds all Californians that price gouging during a state of emergency is illegal under Penal Code Section 396.

    “Multiple fires burning throughout the state have forced evacuations for thousands of California residents. During this difficult time, they shouldn’t have to worry about whether they’re being illegally cheated out of fair prices,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Our state’s price gouging law protects people impacted by an emergency from illegal price gouging on housing, gas, food, and other essential supplies. I encourage anyone who has been the victim of price gouging, or who has information regarding potential price gouging, to immediately file a complaint with our office online at oag.ca.gov/report, or to contact their local police department or sheriff’s office.”

    California law generally prohibits charging a price that exceeds, by more than 10 percent, the price of an item before a state or local declaration of emergency. This law applies to those who sell food, emergency supplies, medical supplies, building materials, and gasoline. The law also applies to repair or reconstruction services, emergency cleanup services, transportation, freight and storage services, hotel accommodations, and rental housing. Exceptions to this prohibition exist if, for example, the price of labor, goods, or materials has increased for the business.

    Violators of the price gouging statute are subject to criminal prosecution that can result in a one-year imprisonment in county jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Violators are also subject to civil enforcement actions including civil penalties of up to $2,500 per violation, injunctive relief, and mandatory restitution. The Attorney General and local district attorneys can enforce the statute.

    # # #

    You may view the full account of this posting, including possible attachments, in the News & Alerts section of our website at: https://oag.ca.gov/news/press-releases/attorney-general-becerra-issues-consumer-alert-price-gouging-following-state-17

    You may view all News & Alerts on our website at: https://oag.ca.gov/news

    Please visit the remainder of the Attorney General's site at: https://oag.ca.gov/



  • Monday, September 28, 2020 4:24 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Monday, September 28th, at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom provided an update on the state’s response to COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 numbers.  The state's coronavirus numbers are trending down.  Specifically, he reported there were 2,955 new COVID-19 cases on September 27th, with a 3,367 case average for the past week.  The positivity rate is down to 2.8 percent in the most recent 14 day period and 2.9  percent over 7 days.  Also, hospitalizations and ICU patients continue to decline— 20 percent decrease in COVID-19  hospital admissions over the past 14 days and 21 percent decrease in COVID-19 ICU admissions over the past 14 days. 

    Tomorrow (and every Tuesday), Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly will provided an update on how counties are faring under the state’s reopening framework.  Recall, there are 4 colored tiers - widespread is purple, substantial is red, moderate is orange,  and minimal is yellow.  

    Previously, based on the last update, the California county tier status stood as follows:

    ­         PURPLE: 25 counties

    ­         RED: 19 counties

    ­         ORANGE: 11 counties

    ­         YELLOW: 3 counties

    “We anticipate some more counties tomorrow moving into yellow tiered status," said Newsom.  "This means...more and more opportunity to modify our conditions as it relates to business activity." 

    Newsom did express some caution regarding the latest COVID-19 trendlines.  Since the state’s peak, California has seen a threefold decrease in cases.  However, he said, we are beginning to see early signs that those decreases may have slowed.  Some California regions are beginning to trend upward.

    As always, Newsom closed by imploring Californians to wear a mask, physically distance, wash their hands, and minimizing mixing.  

    On spending COVID-19 funding on homelessness, Newsom said homelessness remains an issue.  However, he also used the question as an opportunity to tout all of the other COVID-19 relief efforts that his Administration has been working on and pushing.

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There are now a total of 802,308 (+0.5 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 15,587 (+0.4 percent) deaths in California.  As of September 27th, there have been 14,333,498 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here

    The https://www.covid19.ca.gov/ website is being updated continuously.  A complete list of the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts can be found here.

    Naomi Padron

    Legislative Advocate

    McHugh Koepke & Associates

    1121 L Street, Suite 103

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    (916) 930-1993

    www.mchughgr.com


  • Monday, September 21, 2020 1:47 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    On Monday, September 21st, at noon PDT, Governor Gavin Newsom provided an update on the state’s latest COVID-19 numbers.  The state's coronavirus numbers trending are down.  Specifically, he reported there were 3,294 new COVID-19 cases on September 20th, with a 3,417 case average for the past week.   The positivity rate is down to 3.1 percent in the most recent 14 day period and 2.8 percent over 7 days. Hospitalizations and ICU patients continue to decline— 23 percent decrease in COVID-19  hospital admissions over the past 14 days and 25 percent decrease in COVID-19 ICU admissions over the past 14 days.  Newsom did however expressed some concern about a "twindemic" of COVID-19 and seasonal flu as he cited the positive data on lower pandemic hospitalization/ICU rates.

    Tomorrow, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly will provided an update on how counties are faring under the state’s reopening framework.  Recall, there are 4 colored tiers - widespread is purple, substantial is red, moderate is orange,  and minimal is yellow.  

    Previously, based on the last update, the California county tier status stood as follows:

    • PURPLE: 30 counties
    • RED: 17 counties
    • ORANGE: 9 counties
    • YELLOW: 2 counties

    As always, Newsom closed by imploring Californians to wear a mask, physically distance, wash their hands, and minimizing mixing.   He also previewed a Sesame Street public service announcement (PSA) featuring Oscar the Grouch encouraging children to wear masks.

    The briefing concluded at 1:10 PM PDT.

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There are now a total of 778,400 (+0.6 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 14,987 (+0.5 percent) deaths in California.  As of September 19th, there have been 13,523,158 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here

    The https://www.covid19.ca.gov/ website is being updated continuously.  A complete list of the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts can be found here.

    Naomi Padron

    Legislative Advocate

    McHugh Koepke & Associates

    1121 L Street, Suite 103

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    (916) 930-1993

    www.mchughgr.com


  • Thursday, September 17, 2020 1:20 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

    Contact: Governor's Press Office

    Thursday, September 17, 2020

    (916) 445-4571

    Governor Newsom Signs Legislation to Protect California’s Workforce Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic 

    Bills expand access to workers’ compensation and require employers to notify local officials and employees of COVID-19 outbreaks in the workplace

    Watch today's worker protection bill signing here

    SACRAMENTO -- Governor Gavin Newsom today signed two bills as part of his worker protection package, SB 1159 by Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) and AB 685 by Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-San Bernardino). SB 1159 expands access to workers’ compensation and makes it easier for first responders, health care workers and people who test positive due to an outbreak at work to get the support they need, including necessary medical care and wage replacement benefits. AB 685 ensures timely notification to employees and local and state public health officials of COVID-19 cases at workplaces. This notification will help workers take necessary precautions such as seeking testing, getting medical help or complying with quarantine directives.

    “Protecting workers is critical to slowing the spread of this virus,” said Governor Newsom. “These two laws will help California workers stay safe at work and get the support they need if they are exposed to COVID-19.”  

    “I thank the Governor, my colleagues in the Legislature, and the many stakeholders who worked with us on SB 1159 to improve the lives of the Californians who are working to keep our state, our economy and our communities operating. These workers help all of us meet the incredible challenges we face today,” said Senator Jerry Hill. “For more than 100 years, California has stood for worker safety. In signing SB 1159, Governor Newsom underscores and reinforces that commitment by ensuring vulnerable workers are not left out in the cold.”

    “In the age of Covid-19 our essential workers risk their lives and the lives of their loved ones in our fields, hospitals, grocery stores, meatpacking plants, restaurant kitchens and countless other businesses in our state,” said Assemblymember Reyes. “COVID-19 infections and deaths disproportionately affect the Latino, Black, and Asian Pacific Islander communities. Communities that make up the majority of our state’s low-wage workers. By notifying the public and workers of potential exposures as required under AB 685 we allow workers to take appropriate steps to protect themselves and their loved ones while also bolstering the response of public health officials.”

    SB 1159 (Hill) expands access to workers’ compensation by creating a rebuttable presumption for front line workers -- health care workers, firefighters and peace officers. Creating a presumption removes burdens of access to workers’ compensation for those workers who most likely got infected at work. Additionally, the bill establishes a rebuttable presumption when there is a workplace outbreak over a 14-day timeframe.

    Under AB 685 (Reyes), employers must report an outbreak to local public health officials. Employers must also report known cases to employees who may have been exposed to COVID-19 within one business day. This bill strengthens Cal/OSHA’s enforcement authority by providing clear authority to close a worksite due to a COVID-19 hazard and reducing the timeframe for COVID-19 citations. 

    Governor Newsom has enacted other components of his worker protection package in recent weeks. Last week, he signed AB 1867, legislation that immediately ensured access to paid sick leave for every California employee, closing gaps in federal and state law. He also advanced significant funding for worker and employer outreach, education and enforcement activities related to COVID-19.

    This worker protection package builds on the Newsom Administration’s ongoing efforts to protect workers, among them expanded child care, access to testing and building a pipeline of personal protective equipment to help workers stay safe on the job. The Administration has also released robust workplace safety and health guidance that emphasizes masks, distancing, cleaning, hand washing, screenings and staying home if feeling sick.


  • Wednesday, September 16, 2020 1:58 PM | Ross Hutchings (Administrator)

    Newsom addressed the latest COVID-19 numbers.  The state's coronavirus numbers trending are down.  Specifically, he reported there were 2,950 new COVID-19 cases on September 15th, with a 3,348 case average for the past week.   The positivity rate is down to 3.6 percent in the most recent 7 day and 14 day periods. This is the lowest since May.  Hospitalizations and ICU patients continue to decline, 22 percent over the past 14 days –  2,821 hospitalizations, 875 ICU patients.  

    On reopening, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly provided an update on how counties are faring under the state’s framework.  Recall, there are 4 colored tiers - widespread is purple, substantial is red, moderate is orange,  and minimal is yellow.  

    Currently, the California county tier status stands as follows:

    • PURPLE: 30 counties
    • RED: 17
    • ORANGE: 9
    • YELLOW: 2

    ** New to the RED tier: 3 counties: Marin, Inyo, Tehama.

    Dr. Ghaly said the administration is in constant communication with counties on moving from more to less restrictive tiers. He also said he expects San Diego County to move back into PURPLE in the next few days.

    Newsom said to expect an announcement regarding theme parks and other sectors soon.  However, he did not specify when this announcement would come.

    As always, Newsom closed by imploring Californians to wear a mask, physically distance, wash their hands, and minimizing mixing.  

    During the Q&A portion of the briefing, Newsom was asked about his Employment Development Department (EDD) strike team.  The team's report is now three days late.  Newsom said the team is "just days away from making public that report."  It's almost complete, but he wants it to include responses from EDD about what it will do with the team's recommendations.

    The Governor was asked about schooling and his own children.  "I've got four kids, it's four different experiences," he said, noting that his 11-year-old has an easier time with distance learning that his younger kids. He also used this question as an opportunity to once again urge Californians to stay vigilant and remain committed to flattening the curve so all children can get back into their classrooms.

    Regarding college football, Newsom stated, “Nothing in the state guidelines denies the PAC-12 from having conference games or resuming.”

    Newsom was also asked if San Diego County should be allowed to exclude college kid COVID-19 figures.  In response, Newsom bluntly said no.  More on San Diego County, Newsom acknowledged his concern about whiplash for businesses if counties have to move back and forth between tiers. The main solution, he said, is getting the virus under control with public health measures.

    The briefing concluded at 1:05 PM PDT.

    The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced the most recent statistics on COVID-19.  There are now a total of 762,963 (+0.4 percent increase) confirmed positive cases and 14,615 (+1.1 percent) deaths in California.  As of September 15th, there have been 13,000,522 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health.  More information regarding the most recent COVID-19 statistics can be found here

    The https://www.covid19.ca.gov/ website is being updated continuously.  A complete list of the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts can be found here.

    Naomi Padron

    Legislative Advocate

    McHugh Koepke & Associates

    1121 L Street, Suite 103

    Sacramento, CA 95814

    (916) 930-1993

    www.mchughgr.com


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