California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Friday new safeguards for frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Building on previous actions to protect California’s frontline workforce, Newsom announced a host of new safeguards for California workers who face the greatest risk of COVID-19, according to the governor’s office.
In addition to support for workers, including agricultural and farmworkers, to isolate and quarantine, Newsom unveiled a “robust” education campaign for workers and employers, according to officials.
Newsom also committed to working with the Legislature and key stakeholders to expand critical protections like paid sick leave, according to his office.
“Stopping the spread of COVID-19 depends on keeping our workers safe,” Newsom said. “The vital work they do every day puts them and their families at higher risk for exposure and infection. Taking action to protect them will help protect all Californians. Working with the Legislature, we will advance new initiatives to support these key workers and their employers.”
Isolation and quarantine are proven public health interventions fundamental to reducing COVID-19 transmission, according to Newsom.
Many who contract COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms, do not require hospitalization and can isolate at home.
However, providing safe, suitable places for isolation outside a home can help stop the spread to other household members, according to officials.
This is especially important for people who live in multigenerational households.
The state is expected to allocate existing federal funds to local public health departments and community-based organizations to assist with supportive services for isolation and quarantine, according to the governor’s office.
Building on California’s public awareness campaign to #WearAMask and #StoptheSpread, the campaign is expected to expand its reach to employers, to workers and to their families to inform them of ways they can break the cycle of spread and reduce their risk for COVID-19 at work, at home and in their community, according to officials.
This effort will leverage the public service media campaign, and build a more comprehensive community engagement strategy to include work with community-based organizations, labor unions and worker advocacy groups to directly reach workers, according to officials.
Newsom is expected to work with the legislature to build on previous executive action and advance worker protections.
Expanded paid sick leave is expected to provide workers financial security so they are able to stay home when sick.
Similarly, workers’ compensation access helps ensure that front-line workers can quarantine and stay home from work when ill.
As California businesses work to reopen, a new Employer Playbook released Friday is expected to guide them on how to provide a clean environment for workers and customers to reduce risk, according to officials.
Proactive education efforts led by the Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) is set to provide information and support to businesses to help them come into and stay in compliance, including technical assistance and a model training program, according to the governor.
Additionally, the state is expected to provide employers information to share with their workers regarding health insurers’ COVID-19 testing coverage and eligibility requirements.
Cal/OSHA and the Labor Commissioner’s Office have strategically targeted investigations in high-risk industries, where the state has seen the most workplace outbreaks, according to officials.
Expedited enforcement authority and advanced reporting of health and safety hazards at work will improve enforcement outcomes, according to Newsom.
Requiring employers to report outbreaks to their local health departments will help track county transmission, according to officials.
Newsom is expected to work with the Legislature to establish this authority.
Friday’s actions and proposals build on ongoing efforts to protect workers from the first days of this crisis.
In addition to strengthening supports like paid sick leave for workers in the food sector and expanded child care, the administration has built a pipeline of personal protective equipment to help these workers stay safe on the job, according to officials.
The state has also expanded testing and health plan reimbursement for the essential workforce, in addition to requiring health plans to reimburse all COVID-19 testing for high-risk essential workers, according to officials.
Finally, the administration has released robust workplace safety and health guidance that emphasizes masks, distancing, cleaning, hand washing, screenings and staying home if feeling sick.Do you have a news tip? Call us at (661) 298-1220, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t miss a thing. Get breaking KHTS Santa Clarita News Alerts delivered right to your inbox. Report a typo or error, email Corrections@hometownstation.com
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