CALIFORNIA FARM LABOR CONTRACTOR ASSOCIATION

"Providing Jobs That Feed The World"

Coronavirus Resources

CFLCA Community -- This page is an assortment of information extracted from various organizations and government agencies regarding the COVID-19 virus. We will do our best to provide you with the most recent and updated information available. Data is swift-moving therefore modifications will be made on a daily basis.  We advise you consult with your attorney when necessary.  

Latest News

Updated March 26, 2020

NEW FEDERAL PAID SICK AND FAMILY LEAVE INFORMATION

Please see the most recent press release issued today providing guidance on the new Paid Sick Leave and Expanded FMLA leave. https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/whd/whd20200324. Also, please see these updated resources available below on our website:

FFCRA NEW FEDERAL PAID FAMILY LEAVE POSTERS, ENGLISH & SPANISH

Updated March 23, 2020

  • Message from CDFA Secretary Karen Ross here

Updated March 20, 2020

  • Gov. Newsom issued an executive order imposing a state-wide "stay-at-home" mandate to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  This unprecedented order applies to the entire state, including counties that had not yet issued "shelter-in-place" or "stay-at-home" orders.  Gov. Newsom's order cites "federal critical infrastructure" sectors necessary to continuity of operations, exempting workers in those sectors from the "stay-at-home" order. The production of food is one of the exempted from Gov. Newsom's order.
  • The State of California has consolidated resources on COVID-19 response at a single website with links to various agencies at Coronavirus (COVID-19) in California
  • President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (see H.R. 6201 below), requiring employers of 500 or fewer to provide family and medical leave and paid sick leave, as well as providing tax credits to defray the cost of these mandates. 

Updated March 19, 2020

  • Migrant Clinician's Network recommends putting safe practices into place for farm labor workers including modify work, transportation and living conditions during this time. Encourage/promote social distancing of 6 feet and safe hygiene practices. Provide necessary cleansing products including soap and water. 
  • FLC Certification Update -- Due to shelter-in-place mandates, the U.S. Dept. of Labor's Wage and Hour Division is open, but is processing applications remotely. Therefore, no drop-off applications are currently accepted. Please mail in applications, amendments or requests. To contact WHD National processing, call 415-241-3505
  • The U.S. Senate has passed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act; HR 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act passed Congress on March 18 and awaits President Trump's expected signature.  You can read a summary of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act prepared by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce here. Among other things, HR 6201: 
  • Temporarily (until 12/31/20) and vastly expands the coverage of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act from covering employers of 50 or more to covering any workplace with fewer than 500 employees 
  • Loosens FMLA eligibility to employees who have worked for that employer for at least 30 days 
  • Requires employers to provide 12 weeks of job-protected (unpaid leave) for employees to comply with COVID-19 quarantine requirements, care of a family member related to a quarantine requirment or care for a child due to closure of schools 
  • Requires employers to provide 80 hours or two weeks of paid sick leave for COVID-19-related purposes available after 14 days on unpaid FMLA leave at 2/3 the employee's regular rate of pay; the Secretary of Labor may exempt by regulation  certain small employers (less than 50 employees) 
  • Provides refundable tax credits for employers to defray the cost of providing paid leave 
  • A total of $1 billion in emergency grants to states for unemployment insurance benefits for states experiencing an increase of unemployment compensation claims of at least 10% over the same quarter in the prior year   

Updated March 18, 2020
  • Federal OSHA has indicated that workplace COVID-19 infections are now recordable (although influenza and common cold infections are not)
  • Six Bay Area counties (San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Contra Costa and Alameda) adopted Shelter-In-Place orders on March 16, effective March 17; food production exempted; see "Order of the Health Officer of the County of Santa Clara" in particular Section 10.f.ii and iii exempting grocery stores, farmers markets and farm stands and farming and livestock production.
  • Gov. Newsom directed Californians over the age of 65 to self-isolate to reduce their risk of COVID-19 exposure.  
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses in many California counties suffering economic injury as a result of Coronavirus. For more information and to apply online, click here

Web Resources

Official CA State COVID-19 Website

Cornonavirus (COVID-19) CA Site


UC Davis 

COVID-19 Resources for Agriculture


Federal OSHA

Guidance For Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19


U.S. Department of Labor

Dept. of Tr easury announce plan to help small and mid-size businesses


CA Division of Labor Standards Enforcement

FAQ on Laws Enforced by CA Labor Commissioner's Office

CA HR Laws and FAQ's in Response to COVID-19


Wage and Hour Division

Governor's Office

CA Directive to Fight COVID-19


Recursos EspaƱoles

Recursos de Coronavirus para Trabajadores

EDD Coronavirus

COVID-19 Materiales de consulta


Cal/OSHA

Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers


CDC

Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers

Cleaning and Disinfection Procedures

Disinfect your home if someone is sick

Federal

H2-A Visas

Coronavirus Response Act

EPA List of Disinfectants for Use Against COV


US Department of Transportation

Commercial Vehicle Hours of Service Relief


CA Ag Attorney Advice

McKague Rosasco, LLP

Barsamian and Moody


EDD

Support Services for workers affected by COVID-19


Important Resources

What Employer's Need to Know Regarding Child Care

Guidance for Safely Harvesting amid COVID-19

Travel to and From Work Letter Samples

Essential travel to and from Mexico

Symptom Comparison  Cold/Flu/Sinus/COVID-19

Webinar

CFLCA COVID-19 Webinar

March 26

Slides here


How does Coronavirus spread?  Coronavirus generally spreads between people within 6 feet of each other through respiratory secretions, especially coughing and sneezing. It is not currently known whether the virus can be transmitted by touching a surface with the virus on it.

What can you do now?  It is important for farm employers to maintain open lines of communication with their employees. Update contact information for employees if necessary and stay informed of the latest news. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also issued “Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease.” The CDC recommends that employers begin implementing the following steps now:

  • Encourage employees with acute respiratory illnesses to stay home; be sure employees are aware of the availability of Paid Sick Leave as required by AB 1522 and job-protected leave under the California Family Rights and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (also see and that you are prepared to administer these leaves.
  • Keep in mind that more employees than normal may be unavailable to work because they are caring for other family members who are ill and try to plan for replacements if possible;
  • Make sure vendors and contractors whose employees come into your workplace are aware of issues surrounding COVID-19;
  • Separate sick employees if they begin to show symptoms;
  •  Emphasize cough and sneeze etiquette (covering coughs and sneezes) and hand hygiene (frequent handwashing for at least 20 seconds);
  •  Perform routine environmental cleaning, like wiping down surfaces, door knobs and handles, control handles and control panels, keyboards and mouses, light switches, and other surfaces frequently touched by employees;
  •  Advise employees like buyers and salespersons about the risks prior to travel to countries that have had a significant outbreak;
  •  Consider informing employees in the case of possible exposure in the workplace; maintain the confidentiality of the identity of any employee you know to be infected.

What plans should employers put in place?  The CDC also recommends that employers create response plans now that would:

  • Reduce transmission among your workforce; 
  • Protect people at higher risk for adverse health complications;
  •  Maintain business operations; and,
  •  Minimize adverse effects on other entities in their supply chains.

Can you allow short-term telecommuting for some positions? Can you permit employees to work flexible schedules? Can you cancel some or all business travel? Have fewer in-person meetings? There is no single answer to these questions for every farm business.

Can employers require employees to undergo medical examinations?  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has recently released guidance, “Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the American with Disabilities Act,” reminding that employers may not require medical examinations under the ADA unless the medical exam is job-related and consistent with business necessity. Whether a medical exam is job-related and consistent with business necessity depends upon the situation (e.g., what are the employee’s symptoms, where has the employee been, or how might the employee been exposed, etc.) and the latest CDC guidance on coronavirus.

What actions can employers take in a pandemic?  Employers can send employees home if they show coronavirus-like symptoms at work. Furthermore, employers may ask employees if they are experiencing coronavirus-like symptoms as long as they are mindful of confidentiality obligations. Finally, if an employee returns from traveling during a pandemic, an employer may ask the employee whether they are returning from a location where that individual may have been exposed to the virus.

This is an evolving issue. Employers who plan for it will be in a better position in the long run. 

Source: Bryan Little, Farm Employers Labor Services

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