Newsom Administration Announces New COVID-19-Related Supports for Workers
Today, Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled a series of new actions to increase outreach and education among employers and workers throughout the state to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at work, home, and in the community. These new supports include:
- Isolation and Quarantine Supports – The state will allocate existing federal funds to local health departments and community-based organizations to assist with supportive services for isolation and quarantine of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who have been exposed. A new program, Housing for Harvest, will provide safe, temporary isolation spaces for agricultural and farm workers who test positive or who were exposed. This new program will operate in partnership with counties and local partners in the Central Valley, Central Coast, and Imperial Valley.
- Outreach and Education – The state will be expanding its #WearAMask and #StoptheSpread public awareness campaigns to reach employers, workers, and families to inform them of ways to break the cycle of spread of COVID-19 in work, home, and community settings. This effort will leverage the public service media campaign and build a more comprehensive community engagement strategy to include work with community-based organizations, promotoras, labor unions, and worker advocacy groups.
- Employee Support – Governor Newsom announced ongoing work with the Legislature to build on previous executive action and advance worker protections through expanded paid sick leave and workers’ compensation.
- Employer Resources – The state announced a new Employer Playbook will be released to guide employers on how to provide a clean environment for workers and customers to reduce risk. Proactive education efforts led by the Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) will provide information and support to businesses to help them come into and stay in compliance. Additionally, the state will provide employers information to share with their workers regarding health insurers’ COVID-19 testing coverage and eligibility requirements.
- Strategic Enforcement – CalOSHA and the Labor Commissioner’s Office have strategically targeted investigations in high-risk industries. Expedited enforcement authority and advanced reporting of health and safety hazards at work will improve enforcement outcomes. Requiring employers to report outbreaks to their local health departments will help track county transmission. According to the Governor’s Office, Governor Newsom will work with the Legislature to establish this authority.
Additional PSA videos and radio messages have been developed and will be launched to educate residents on how to slow the spread of COVID-19 to keep California healthy. The full announcement from the Governor’s Office is available here.