September 21, 2020

LWDA Weekly Roundup: 

Each week the Labor & Workforce Development Agency and its departments engage with the public, stakeholders, and reporters on social, digital, and traditional media. Here are the highlights from last week.

Governor Newsom Signs Legislation to Protect California’s Workforce Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic 
Governor Gavin Newsom 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. Read more here.
California Labor Secretary Releases Joint Statement with GO-Biz Acting Director on August Employment Numbers 
“The unemployment rate for August fell to 11.4 percent with 101,900 Californians returning to the workforce, many as temporary U.S. Census outreach workers to ensure a complete count. As we work to safely reopen, Governor Newsom continues to support our economy by signing legislation that bolsters our small businessesprotects our workers, and prioritizes our families. Sustained recovery depends on every Californian doing what they can to slow the spread of this virus, including giving workers a real choice to stay home when needed, isolate, and follow public health orders.” View here.
EDD Announces Reset in Response to Strike Team Recommendations
The Employment Development Department (EDD) Strike Team established by Governor Gavin Newsom to create a blueprint for improvements and to modernize technology systems at the EDD released their Strike Team Report and detailed findings report. In response, EDD Director Sharon Hilliard sent a letter to the Governor detailing the immediate actions EDD will implement, including a two week reset period that will help expedite new claimant payments, reduce fraud and tackle backlog issues moving forward. Read more here.
Complete The Census Today!
There are only 9 days left to complete the Census. Taking just a few minutes to answer the 9 simple questions helps determine dollars that fund important programs for the next 10 years. Complete the Census here.
Social Media Posts of the Week:
Governor Newsom signs Worksafe CA package
Governor Newsom has signed the #WorksafeCA package to protect workers and the public from the spread of #COVID19.  View here.
Governor Newsom signs AB 1867
Governor Newsom signed AB 1867 which eliminates coverage gaps to ensure every employee has access to paid sick days if they are exposed or test positive to COVID-19 View here.
New Podcasts and Videos:
Know Your Rights: Safe and Healthy Workplace in California
On the Record:
California’s unemployment falls to 11.4 percent in August 
September 18, 2020

California’s unemployment rate improved to 11.4 percent in August as the state’s employers added 101,900 jobs, according to data released by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) from two surveys. This comes after July’s downward-revised gain of 83,500 jobs (-23,600 jobs from previously reported gain). California has now regained nearly a third (33.9 percent) of the 2,615,800 nonfarm jobs lost during March and April as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Read more here.
Unemployment benefits top $86 billion over course of COVID-19 pandemic
September 17, 2020

Unemployment benefits supporting California workers, their families and local communities struggling through this historic COVID-19 pandemic now total more than $86 billion. Since mid-March, the critical benefits stem from more than 13-million claims processed by the California Employment Development Department between the regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) program and extension claims, as well as the separate Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. The number of claims processed over the last six months are more than triple the worst full year of the Great Recession when 3.8 million claims were processed in 2010.  Read more here.
Workplace Health, Safety, and Rights:
COVID-19 Information for Agricultural Workers
If you are a farmworker in California, here is what you need to know to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 at home and in the fields. Read more here.
Información de COVID-19 para trabajadores agrícolas
Si usted es un trabajador agrícola en California, esto es lo que necesita saber para ayudar a prevenir la propagación del COVID-19 en el hogar y en el campo. Leer más aquí.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance Benefits Available for Those Impacted By Wildfires (August 28, 2020)

Cal/OSHA Issues Citation for Failing to Protect Hundreds of Workers from COVID-19  (September 9, 2020)
The Labor & Workforce Development Agency provides leadership to protect and improve the well-being of California’s current and future workforce.
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