NEWS & ISSUES

UPDATE: Spanish Poster Now Available – Families First Coronavirus Response Act – New Poster Required

As we have previously noted, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires a poster for all employees of the employer’s obligation to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.  The Spanish poster is now available and attached. Please post immediately.

Click here for Spanish poster

Families First Coronavirus Response Act – New Poster Required

As we have previously noted, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires a poster for all employees of the employer’s obligation to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.  The poster is now available and attached. Please post immediately.

Click Here For Poster

US DOL Releases Guidance on Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Recently, Congress passed and the President signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act for those impacted by COVID-19.  This Act imposes emergency paid sick leave and family medical leave requirements on employers from April 2, 2020 until December 31, 2020.   The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) recently announced its first round of published guidance to provide information to employees and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) when it takes effect on April 1, 2020.  The FFCRA will give all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees, funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members.  The guidance – provided in a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers and a Questions and Answers document – addresses critical questions, such as how an employer must count the number of their employees to determine coverage; how small businesses can obtain an exemption; how to count hours for part-time employees; and how to calculate the wages employees are entitled to under this law.   There is also a workplace poster required for most employers that will be published later this week, along with additional fact sheets and more Q&A.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Explained

Recently, Congress passed and the President signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act for those impacted by COVID-19.  This Act imposes emergency paid sick leave and family medical leave requirements on employers from April 2, 2020 until December 31, 2020.  Attached is a summary of the Act and its requirements that you as employers need to be aware of. Click here for the link.

EEOC Updates Pandemic Preparedness Guidance

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued an update to the 2009 Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act.  This update incorporates new information to respond to current employer questions and to address its application to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). It identifies established ADA principles that are relevant to questions frequently asked about workplace pandemic planning such as:
  • How much information may an employer request from an employee who calls in sick, in order to protect the rest of its workforce when an influenza pandemic appears imminent?
  • When may an ADA-covered employer take the body temperature of employees during a pandemic?
  • Does the ADA allow employers to require employees to stay home if they have symptoms of the pandemic influenza virus?
  • When employees return to work, does the ADA allow employers to require doctors’ notes certifying their fitness for duty?
Please click here to review the full EEOC Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act guidance.  The Association will continue to provide current coronavirus COVID-19 resources, links and best practices as it becomes available.

Shelter In Place

Dear Members,
This is to notify you that the City of Fresno, where our offices are located, has issued a “shelter in place order” effective at 12:01 tonight through at least March 31st.   The adoption of the ordinance was deemed necessary out of an abundance of caution to stop the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.   For the past week most of the staff has been telecommuting anyway, but this action by the City closes the office.  The staff will continue to work on your behalf, and provide the services you have come to expect, albeit remotely from our homes.  You can reach us via our cell phones, and as a reminder our business cards include our cell phone numbers.  If you have any issues, or need assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

COVID-19: Plan-Prepare-Respond

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to evolve, the Association has put together an advisory on workplace preventative measures to put into workplaces.  These recommendations are advisory in nature and intended to assist our members in providing a safe and healthful workplace.  We have also provided additional resources from OSHA Guidance on COVID-19 www.osha.gov/covid-19 and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides the latest information about COVID-19 and the global outbreak www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov. Should you have any questions, please give us a call.

Click here for the advisory.

Important COVID-19 Update: Governor Orders “Stay in Shelter” Executive Order

By now you have all heard of the Governor’s Executive Order to “Stay in Shelter”. We want to make you aware that agriculture and companies that support agriculture are exempt. The Governor’s Order clearly references new guidance just released by the Department of Homeland Security that classifies agriculture and the business that support agriculture as “essential critical infrastructure” that must be maintained. Therefore, your operations will continue to be allowed to operate. That guidance lists the following as essential:

 

FOOD AND AGRICULTURE

  • Workers supporting groceries, pharmacies and other retail that sells food and beverage products
  • Restaurant carry-out and quick serve food operations – Carry-out and delivery food employees
  • Food manufacturer employees and their supplier employees—to include those employed in food processing(packers, meat processing, cheese plants, milk plants, produce, etc.) facilities; livestock, poultry, seafood slaughter facilities; pet and animal feed processing facilities; human food facilities producing by-products for animal food; beverage production facilities; and the production of food packaging
  • Farm workers to include those employed in animal food, feed, and ingredient production, packaging, and distribution; manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of veterinary drugs; truck delivery and transport; farm and fishery labor needed to produce our food supply domestically
  • Farm workers and support service workers to include those who field crops; commodity inspection; fuel ethanol facilities; storage facilities; and other agricultural inputs
  • Employees and firms supporting food, feed, and beverage distribution, including warehouse workers, vendor-managed inventory controllers and blockchain managers
  • Workers supporting the sanitation of all food manufacturing processes and operations from wholesale to retail
  • Company cafeterias – in-plant cafeterias used to feed employees
  • Workers in food testing labs in private industries and in institutions of higher education
  • Workers essential for assistance programs and government payments
  • Employees of companies engaged in the production of chemicals, medicines, vaccines, and other substances used by the food and agriculture industry, including pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, minerals, enrichments, and other agricultural production aids
  • Animal agriculture workers to include those employed in veterinary health; manufacturing and distribution of animal medical materials, animal vaccines, animal drugs, feed ingredients, feed, and bedding, etc.; transportation of live animals, animal medical materials; transportation of deceased animals for disposal; raising of animals for food; animal production operations; slaughter and packing plants and associated regulatory and government workforce
  • Workers who support the manufacture and distribution of forest products, including, but not limited to timber, paper, and other wood products
  • Employees engaged in the manufacture and maintenance of equipment and other infrastructure necessary to agricultural production and distribution

 

Furthermore, we are aware of instances where workers have been stopped by law enforcement in counties where “shelter in place” ordinances have been adopted. For those situations we have attached a sample letter you can provide each of your employees with in case that happens. [click here for sample letter]

Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus

Given the evolving situation with coronavirus (COVID-19), we wanted to communicate with our members and clients the Cal/OSHA guidance document to protect workers from exposure to airborne infectious diseases, such as the coronavirus.  We have included links to the Cal/OSHA Interim Guidelines for General Industry on 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). These interim guidelines are subject to change as the situation evolves.  Click here for the Cal/OSHA webpage and here for the Cal/OSHA Interim Guidelines for General Industry on COVID-19 (PDF).  The Association will continue to update members and clients on additional information for preventing exposure to the coronavirus.

CCGGA Annual Meeting – Visalia – May 13th

It’s time for the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association’s 2020 Annual Meeting!  The 2020 Annual Meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 13th at the Visalia Convention Center.

Registration, Continental Breakfast and the Exhibitor Session will begin at 7:30 am.  The actual information packed program will begin with Breakout Sessions at 8:30 am and will end with lunch.

Please call our office at (559) 252-0684 should you have any questions regarding this event.  We look forward to seeing you in Visalia at our 2020 Annual Meeting!

CCGGA Annual Meeting Registration and Agenda