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News Archive - 2010

News Archive - 2010

 

 

 

12-08-2010: Governor presents Medal of Valor to 38 State employees

On December 7, 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger awarded the Governor's Medal of Valor to 38 State employees whose extraordinary acts of bravery and heroism saved lives.
 

See also

 

 

 

10-21-2010: Questions and Answers for employees in units without new contracts (BUs 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 13)

 How does the new budget affect employees in bargaining units who aren't covered by a new contract (BUs 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 13)?

Unless the units agree to alternate savings, employees in these units will continue to have three furlough days per month.
 
For current employees and employees with any State service before January 15, 2011, the employees' retirement contribution and the way retirement is calculated doesn't change. However, for new employees in these units (hired on or after January 15, 2011), the pension formulas and method of calculating pensions will change.
 

What are the pension changes for new employees in these bargaining units?

The following pension formulas and method of calculating pensions apply to employees hired on or after January 15, 2011:
  • Miscellaneous/industrial/ARP member: 2% at age 60.
  • State safety: 2% at age 55.
  • Peace officer/firefighter: 2.5% at age 55.

 

In addition, the budget amends State law to require new employees' "final compensation" for purposes of retirement to be based on their average salary over the highest three consecutive years.
 

Will furlough Fridays continue?

There are no more scheduled furlough Fridays. Scheduling of furlough hours will be up to the departments for employees who are still subject to furloughs.
 

I work for a constitutional officer. Will I now have furlough days?

Yes, you will have three furlough days per month from November 2010 through June 2011 if you're in one of the bargaining units that hasn't negotiated alternative savings for the FY 2010-11 budget.
 

Who is exempted from furloughs?

Executive Order S-12-10 exempts certain departments from furloughs. Employees of the following departments are not subject to furloughs:
  • Board of Equalization
  • Bureau of State Audits
  • California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFIRE)
  • California Earthquake Authority
  • California Highway Patrol
  • California Housing Finance Authority
  • Employment Development Department (including California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board)
  • Franchise Tax Board
  • Legislative Counsel Bureau
  • Public Utilities Commission
  • State Compensation Insurance Fund

I work for a Special Fund department. Am I exempt from furloughs?

Only employees of the departments listed above are exempt from furloughs.

 

 

 

10-13-2010: Pay package for excluded and exempt employees

The Governor issued Executive Order S-15-10 announcing the 2010-2011 pay package for excluded and exempt employees. Changes affecting current excluded and exempt employees are summarized below.

 

Pensions: Effective November 2, 2010, employee retirement contributions will increase by 3 percent. For the Miscellaneous category, it goes from 5 percent to 8 percent of pay over $513/month; for Safety, it goes from 6 to 9 percent of pay over $317/month. There are no changes in the pension formulas for current employees.

 

PLP: Effective November 2, 2010, pay will be reduced by the equivalent of one day per month, for 12 months, in exchange for 12 days of "personal leave." This leave cannot be cashed out. While this PLP program is in effect, employees covered by it will not be subject to furloughs. (The PLP does not apply to exempt appointees whose pay is set by statute; their pay will be reduced by the same amount but without any leave time in return.)

 

Furloughs: The current furlough program remains in effect through the end of October 2010, for a total of nine furlough days this fiscal year for employees covered by the current furloughs.

 

Pay Ranges: Effective July 1, 2013, an additional step will be added to civil service and exempt pay ranges, raising the maximum pay for these classes by 3 percent. Only employees who reach the top step will be affected by this change.

 

Professional Development: Excluded employees and non-statutory exempt employees will be entitled to two days of professional development leave per fiscal year. This leave must be used in the fiscal year it's accrued. Unused leave cannot be cashed out.

 

Full details will be provided in a memo to personnel offices.

 

 

 

10-07-2010: SEIU Local 1000 agrees to new contract with Schwarzenegger Administration

Negotiators for the Schwarzenegger Administration and SEIU Local 1000 have reached tentative agreement on a new contract that includes hard-fought pension reforms and other payroll savings that help balance the FY 2010-11 State Budget.

 

Pending approval from the Legislature and the union's 95,000 members in nine bargaining units, the new contract would run from July 1, 2010, to July 1, 2013. The last SEIU contract expired June 30, 2008.

 

The contract rolls back pension formulas for new employees to pre-1999 levels, and increases current employees' contributions toward pension benefits by 3 percent. Raising the amount employees contribute lowers the State's cost by a corresponding amount. The union also agreed to a 12-month "personal leave program" that provides one day of unpaid leave per month, which reduces pay by roughly 5 percent. The PLP will start after the contract is ratified by the Legislature and employees. During the period the PLP is in effect, employees will not be subject to any furloughs. The furloughs for August through October of 2010, totaling 9 days, are also part of the agreement.

 

The increased employee contribution toward retirement, combined with the PLP and nine furlough days, reduce payroll costs 10 percent. Another 5 percent reduction is achieved from the workforce cap that took effect July 1, 2010, pursuant to Executive Order S-01-10.

 

In addition, payroll for employees covered by this agreement would be continuously appropriated during the contract's term, which protects employees from minimum wage payments in the event of future budget delays.

 

Provisions of the new agreement

Pensions

  • Reduced pension formula for new employees:
    • Misc.: 2% at age 60 for (from current 2% at age 55)
    • Safety: 2% at age 55 (from current 2.5% at age 55)

 

  • Increased pension contribution for current employees:
    • Misc.: 8% of salary over $513/mo. (from current 5% over $513/mo.)
    • Safety: 9% of salary over $317/mo. (from current 6% over $317/mo.)

 

Other provisions

  • Personal Leave Program: One unpaid leave day per month for 12 months, which reduces pay by roughly 5 percent. This leave cannot be cashed out.
  • Furloughs: Nine furlough days (covering August through October 2010)
  • Health premiums: State increases its share of health premiums to 2010 rates for bargaining unit 3 only (from 2008 rates); this share will be adjusted each January during the contract period to reflect annual changes in health premiums.
  • Pay scales: Effective 07-01-2013 increase top step by 3%; only affects employees who reach top step.
  • Holidays: Columbus Day and Lincoln's Birthday eliminated as paid holidays; employees will receive premium pay if required to work any of six major holidays: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
  • Professional development days: Employees entitled to two professional development days per year.
  • Continuous appropriations: Continuously appropriates payroll during term of this contract, which protects employees from minimum wage payments in the event of budget delays.
  • Employees will not be furloughed during 12 months that Personal Leave Program is in effect.

 

 

 

10-04-2010: Columbus Day, October 11, 2010, is a normal work day

Columbus Day, October 11, 2010, is a normal work day.

 

Before 2009, State employees had Columbus Day off. Legislation eliminated the Columbus Day holiday in 2009. Recently, a court ruled that Columbus Day remains a holiday for some State workers. The court's ruling is not yet final. When it becomes final, the State will appeal. Columbus Day will remain a normal work day during the appeal process.

 

If an employee wants to take time off on Columbus Day, the employee must get prior approval from the employee's supervisor to use leave credits. If an employee does not receive prior approval from the supervisor, then, just like any other unapproved absence, the employee will not be paid for the day. The absence will be considered absent without leave (AWOL).

 

 

 

09-13-2010: Open Enrollment for Health, Dental, Vision, FlexElect Reimbursement Accounts, and Cash Options

Open Enrollment is September 13 through October 8, 2010. If you want to enroll in these benefit programs, or make a change to your current enrollment, contact your Personnel Office for the necessary forms. Changes you make during the 2010 open enrollment take effect January 1, 2011.

 

Changes for 2011

Health, Dental, Vision, and Cash Options
  • Beginning January 1, 2011 if you have children, they are eligible for dependent coverage with the Health, Dental, and Vision Programs up to the age of 26. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Act), as amended by the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010, extends dependent coverage from age 23 to age 26. This provision is effective January 1, 2011.
  • Effective January 1, 2011, State employees, who are dependents on their parent's benefits, whether or not the parent(s) is/are a State employee(s), are now eligible to receive the cash in lieu of health and dental coverage. This is a change from previous years and will bring the State into compliance with the new federal health care reform requirements.
Dental
  • A dependent child, who is a State employee and eligible for a State-sponsored dental plan in his or her own right, is now eligible to enroll in their parent's State sponsored dental plan. This is a change from previous years and will bring the State into compliance with the new federal health care reform requirements.
  • DeltaCare will no longer be providing services in the following counties: Butte, Humboldt, Merced, San Luis Obispo, Shasta, and Sutter
Vision
  • The premium paid to Vision Service Plan (VSP) for vision coverage will decrease to $8.64 and will continue to be fully paid by the State.
FlexElect Medical Reimbursement Accounts
  • Over-the-Counter (OTC) medicines and drugs (not prescribed by a physician) are no longer allowed as a reimbursable expense through a Flexible Spending Account as of January 1, 2011, due to a change in the Internal Revenue Code. In order to be reimbursed for such items as allergy medications, smoking cessation medications, aspirin, cold medications, vitamins and nutritional supplements, etc., you must have a prescription from a physician.

 

For more Open Enrollment information use the links below:

 

 

 

09-09-2010: Open Enrollment for Retiree Dental and Vision benefits is September 13 through October 8, 2010

Open Enrollment for Retiree Dental and Vision benefits is September 13, 2010 through October 8, 2010.

 

What's New for 2011?

Dependent children covered until age 26 - Starting January 1, 2011, if you have children up to age 26, they are eligible for dependent coverage with the Retiree Dental and Vision Programs. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Act), as amended by the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010, extends dependent coverage from age 23 to age 26.

 

New prepaid dental plans - two prepaid dental plans have been added to choices available to select during open enrollment. The two new plans offer dental implant benefits.

 

If you want to enroll in these benefit programs, or make a change to your current enrollment, please use the links below.

 

The 2011 100/90 monthly contributions for retiree health are:

  • Single: $542

  • Two-party: $1,030

  • Family: $1,326

 

For information on health plans and premiums, visit the CalPERS website.

 

 

 

08-25-2010: September is National College Savings Month - ScholarShare can help

California's official 529 college savings plan - ScholarShare - wants you to know about its program and how it can help with college expenses. Visit the ScholarShare website for info on starting or contributing to a college savings plan. ScholarShare investment earnings grow tax-deferred, and the withdrawals are tax-free when used for qualified higher education expenses.

 

The ScholarShare College Savings Plan is administered by the ScholarShare Investment Board, an agency of the state of California. Neither the principal deposited nor the investment return is guaranteed by the state of California, ScholarShare Investment Board, Fidelity Investments or any affiliate thereof, or the federal government or any agency thereof. Units of the Portfolios are municipal securities and may be subject to market volatility and fluctuation. Review the Program Fact Kit available at www.scholarshare.com.

 

 

 

08-18-2010: Furlough Fridays resume August 20

In light of the recent California Supreme Court ruling, furloughs will continue for the time being.

 

August 20 and 27 are furlough Fridays. In addition, employees subject to furlough must schedule another furlough day this month (called a self-directed furlough). If you've already taken time off this month, you can use your self-directed furlough hours to cover that time.

 

The furlough schedule for September depends on when the State Budget is enacted, and the outcome of the California State Supreme Court hearing that's scheduled for September 8. We will post details as they become available.

 

Employees of the following departments are exempt from the furlough:

  • California Highway Patrol

  • California Department of Fire and Forestry Protection

  • Franchise Tax Board

  • Board of Equalization

  • Employment Development Department

  • State Compensation Insurance Fund

  • California Housing Finance Authority

  • California Earthquake Authority

 

Also, represented employees in Bargaining Units 12, 16, 18, and 19 are exempt from the furlough, based on recent contract agreements.

 

 

 

08-12-2010: State offices will remain open Friday, August 13

Friday, August 13 will be a work day and State operations will be open.

 

If the Court of Appeal decides furloughs can continue as planned, the first furlough day in August will be self-directed, to be used this month.

 

We understand many employees made arrangements to be off this Friday, so we encourage departments to approve requests for vacation. If the court decides furloughs can continue, employees may then change this vacation time to furlough hours.

 

We hope to have a decision from the Court of Appeal or California Supreme Court before the next scheduled furlough Friday (August 20). We'll post new information as it develops.

 

 

 

07-28-2010: Governor Schwarzenegger issues Executive Order imposing furloughs

Read Governor Schwarzenegger's Executive Order imposing furloughs

 

 

 

07-26-2010: Information for exempt appointees who won't be paid during budget impasse

Can I get a bank loan if my paycheck is reduced to zero or minimum wage?

The following credit unions and banks have offered assistance in the form of zero-interest or low-interest loans to employees affected by the state budget impasse. We will update this page as more information becomes available:

Golden 1 Credit Union

Schools Financial Credit Union

SAFE Credit Union

First US Community Credit Union

Heritage Community Credit Union

USE Credit Union

Members 1st Credit Union

Contact the individual institutions for details.

 

If your bank or credit union isn't listed, we encourage you to contact it directly to see if they offer a similar assistance program.

 

What other assistance is available during this time?

During this very stressful period, we encourage employees and their family to take advantage of the State's EAP benefit. The Employee Assistance Program offers counseling on a wide range of issues, including emotional health and finances. Using this benefit is completely confidential. If you would like to take advantage of this benefit, contact your personnel office for details, or dial the toll-free number at 866-327-4762.
 

Why is DPA telling the State Controller to pay minimum wage?

We don't want to take this action but are forced to because the California Supreme Court has ruled that without a budget or other appropriation, there's no authority to legally pay our employees their full salary. California's Constitution prohibits issuing payments without a legislative appropriation. For most of our payroll, this appropriation comes through the annual state budget act.
 

How much will we get paid?

Based on the California Supreme Court's decision in 2003 (White v. Davis), in the absence of an approved budget the State is limited to issuing paychecks as follows:
WWG 2 (most rank-and-file) - $7.25/hour
WWG E (most supervisors and managers) - $455/week
WWG SE (exempt from federal minimum wage protections) - No pay
 
These payments will be effective starting with paychecks issued in July if there is no budget by the end of the month. Following enactment of a State budget, employees would receive all pay due retroactive to July 1.

Will this constitute a break in service?

No. You will continue to accrue service at your normal rate.
 

Will my benefits be affected?

No.
 

Will my usual deductions be taken from the minimum wage payment?

The State will deduct all mandatory deductions as outlined in the State Controller's Office Payroll Procedures Manual, but voluntary deductions will not be withheld (such as car and mortgage payments). You will need to make arrangements to make these payments yourself. However, keep in mind that when full paychecks resume, these suspended payment deductions will be made retroactively. If you already made those payments, you could end up making duplicate payments.
 
Minimum-wage paychecks will not have any health deductions taken from them, but our contracts with the vendors who provide medical, dental, or vision benefits require them to continue providing these benefits during this time, up to 90 days.
 
If you participate in the Savings Plus Program, your 457 and 401(k) deferrals, as well as loan repayments, will stop until full pay is restored following enactment of a State Budget.
 

I am an exempt employee. How much will I get paid? Will my benefits continue?

Constitutional officers and their direct appointees (agency secretaries, department directors, deputies, senior staff of the Governor's office, and members and chairs of major boards and commissions), legislators, and legislative staff will not be paid until a budget is passed and signed.
 
Benefits are unaffected by this delay, with the exception of payroll contributions to Savings Plus 401(k) and 457 plans, which won't be deposited to individual accounts until the State Controller releases checks.
 
We've confirmed with CalPERS that health benefits will not be interrupted by the budget delay, and we've received confirmation from our dental and vision providers that they too will continue coverage until there is a budget.
 

Will disability pay be affected?

Disability payments which occurred prior to July 1, 2010, will not be subject to minimum wage. Supplemental payments for disability will be based on minimum wage as of July 1, 2010, if there is no budget by the end of the month.
 

If I leave my State job during the minimum wage period, will my lump sum payment be affected?

No. Lump sum payments will not be based on the minimum wage payment.
 
 
 
 

07-07-2010: Financial assistance for employees facing minimum wage - and more information

Can I get a bank loan if my paycheck is reduced to zero or minimum wage?

The following credit unions and banks have offered assistance in the form of zero-interest or low-interest loans to employees affected by the state budget impasse. We will update this page as more information becomes available:

Golden 1 Credit Union

Schools Financial Credit Union

SAFE Credit Union

First US Community Credit Union

Heritage Community Credit Union

USE Credit Union

Members 1st Credit Union

Contact the individual institutions for details.

 

If your bank or credit union isn't listed, we encourage you to contact it directly to see if they offer a similar assistance program.

 

What other assistance is available during this time?

During this very stressful period, we encourage employees and their family to take advantage of the State's EAP benefit. The Employee Assistance Program offers counseling on a wide range of issues, including emotional health and finances. Using this benefit is completely confidential. If you would like to take advantage of this benefit, contact your personnel office for details, or dial the toll-free number at 866-327-4762.
 

Why is DPA telling the State Controller to pay minimum wage?

We don't want to take this action but are forced to because the California Supreme Court has ruled that without a budget or other appropriation, there's no authority to legally pay our employees their full salary. California's Constitution prohibits issuing payments without a legislative appropriation. For most of our payroll, this appropriation comes through the annual state budget act.
 

How much will we get paid?

Based on the California Supreme Court's decision in 2003 (White v. Davis), in the absence of an approved budget the State is limited to issuing paychecks as follows:

WWG 2 (most rank-and-file) - $7.25/hour

WWG E (most supervisors and managers) - $455/week

WWG SE (exempt from federal minimum wage protections) - No pay

 

These payments will be effective starting with paychecks issued in July if there is no budget by the end of the month. Following enactment of a State budget, employees would receive all pay due retroactive to July 1.

 

Will this constitute a break in service?

No. You will continue to accrue service at your normal rate.
 

Will my benefits be affected?

No.
 

Will my usual deductions be taken from the minimum wage payment?

The State will deduct all mandatory deductions as outlined in the State Controller's Office Payroll Procedures Manual, but voluntary deductions will not be withheld (such as car and mortgage payments). You will need to make arrangements to make these payments yourself. However, keep in mind that when full paychecks resume, these suspended payment deductions will be made retroactively. If you already made those payments, you could end up making duplicate payments.
 
Minimum-wage paychecks will not have any health deductions taken from them, but our contracts with the vendors who provide medical, dental, or vision benefits require them to continue providing these benefits during this time, up to 90 days.
 
If you participate in the Savings Plus Program, your 457 and 401(k) deferrals, as well as loan repayments, will stop until full pay is restored following enactment of a State Budget.
 

I am an exempt employee. How much will I get paid? Will my benefits continue?

Constitutional officers and their direct appointees (agency secretaries, department directors, deputies, senior staff of the Governor's office, and members and chairs of major boards and commissions), legislators, and legislative staff will not be paid until a budget is passed and signed.
 
Benefits are unaffected by this delay, with the exception of payroll contributions to Savings Plus 401(k) and 457 plans, which won't be deposited to individual accounts until the State Controller releases checks.
 
We've confirmed with CalPERS that health benefits will not be interrupted by the budget delay, and we've received confirmation from our dental and vision providers that they too will continue coverage until there is a budget.
 

Will disability pay be affected?

Disability payments which occurred prior to July 1, 2010, will not be subject to minimum wage. Supplemental payments for disability will be based on minimum wage as of July 1, 2010, if there is no budget by the end of the month.
 

If I leave my State job during the minimum wage period, will my lump sum payment be affected?

No. Lump sum payments will not be based on the minimum wage payment.
 
 
 

06-28-2010: Summary of the tentative agreements with Units 12 and 16

The Administration and these two unions have reached tentative agreements that include the Governor's reforms on pensions, including retiree health benefits. In exchange, payroll for these employees will be authorized through a continuous appropriation during the terms of these agreements so their paychecks are not affected by delays in enacting the state's annual budget.

  • Bargaining Unit 12 (International Union of Operating Engineers)

  • Bargaining Unit 16 (Union of American Physicians and Dentists)

 

Pension formulas for new employees

The pension formulas for new employees agreed to by these unions are as follows:
  • Miscellaneous: 2% at 60 (from 2% at 55)
  • Safety: 2% at 55 (from 2.5% at 55)

 

Bargaining Unit 12 - International Union of Operating Engineers: July 1, 2010 - July 1, 2012

  • Current employees' pension contribution rises from 5% to 10% of pay over $513/month

  • 5% pay cut for 12 months in exchange for 12 days of personal leave; this leave cannot be cashed out.

  • Starting July 1, 2012, employees will contribute 0.5% of pay to pre-fund retiree health benefits.

  • New employees hired after January 1, 2011, will be subject to new vesting schedule to qualify for retiree health benefits: 25 years to qualify for 100% of State coverage of premium, 15 years to qualify for 50% (replaces current vesting periods of 20 and 10 years, respectively).

  • Pay scale restructured on January 1, 2012, to add another top step (5% higher than current top step); only applies to employees who reach the top step.

  • State increases its share of health premium payment to 2010 rates (from 2008 rates). This share will be adjusted again on January 1, 2011, to reflect CalPERS-approved 2011 rates.

  • Contract incorporates statute changes of 2009 that eliminated 2 of the 14 paid holidays and premium pay for working on a holiday; restores premium pay for working on New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

 

Bargaining Unit 16 - Union of American Physicians and Dentists: July 1, 2010 - July 1, 2012

  • Current employees' pension contribution rises from 5% to 10% of pay over $513/month for "Miscellaneous" category and from 6% to 11% of pay over $317/month for the "Safety" category.

  • 5% pay cut for 12 months in exchange for 12 days of personal leave; this leave cannot be cashed out.

  • Starting July 1, 2012, employees will contribute 0.5% of pay to pre-fund retiree health benefits.

  • Pay scale restructured January 1, 2012, to add another top step (5% higher than current top step); only applies to employees who reach the top step.

  • Contract incorporates statute changes of 2009 that eliminated 2 of the 14 paid holidays and premium pay for working on a holiday; provides 4 hours of administrative time off for working on New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

 

Related info

 

 

 

06-17-2010: Summary of the tentative agreements with Units 5, 8, 18, and 19

The Administration and the following four unions have reached tentative agreements that include the Governor's pension reforms in exchange for protections from furloughs and minimum wage during the terms of these agreements.

  • Bargaining Unit 5 (California Association of Highway Patrolmen)

  • Bargaining Unit 8 (California Department of Forestry Firefighters)

  • Bargaining Unit 18 (California Association of Psychiatric Technicians)

  • Bargaining Unit 19 (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees)

 

Pension formulas for new employees

The pension formulas for new employees agreed to by these unions are as follows:

  • Patrol: 3% at 55 (from current 3% at 50)

  • Firefighters: 3% at 55 (from current 3% at 50)

  • Safety: 2% at 55 (from 2.5% at 55)

  • Miscellaneous: 2% at 60 (from 2% at 55)

 

California Association of Highway Patrolmen (6,660 employees): July 3, 2010 - July 3, 2013

  • Current employees' pension contribution rises from 8% to 10% of pay over $863/month.

  • Pension based on three-highest-years average salary for new employees (instead of current single-highest year).

  • Temporarily suspends current contract provision to pre-fund retiree health benefits by 1% of pay. That 1%, plus another 1% effective July 1, 2010, will instead go toward pensions. Starting July 2013, an additional 2% of pay will go toward pre-funding retiree health benefits.

  • Pay scale restructured on January 1, 2012 to add another top step (2% higher than current top step); only applies to employees who reach the top step.

 

California Department of Forestry Firefighters (4,280 employees): July 1, 2010 - July 1, 2013

  • Pension based on three-highest-years average salary for new employees (instead of current single-highest year).
  • Current employees' pension contribution rises from 6% to 10% of pay over $238/month.
  • Pay scale restructured on January 1, 2012 to add another top step (4% higher than current top step); only applies to employees who reach the top step.

 

California Association of Psychiatric Technicians (6,543 employees): July 1, 2010 - July 1, 2012

  • 5% pay cut for 12 months in exchange for 12 days of personal leave; this leave cannot be cashed out.

  • Current employees' pension contribution rises from 6% to 11% of pay over $317/month for the "Safety" category and from 5% to 10% of pay over $513/month for "Miscellaneous" category.

  • State increases its share of health premium payment to 2010 rates (from 2008 rates); this share will be adjusted January 1, 2011 to reflect CalPERS-approved 2011 rates.

  • Pay scale restructured on January 1, 2012 to add another top step (5% higher than current top step); only applies to employees who reach the top step.

  • Contract incorporates statute change of 2009 that eliminated all leave time from overtime calculations, but allows leave time (except sick leave) to count toward overtime when mandated by management.

  • Contract incorporates statute changes of 2009 that eliminated 2 of the 14 paid holidays and premium pay for working on a holiday; restores premium pay for working on any of the following holidays: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

  • Non-economic provisions pertaining to personnel files, investigations, and staffing levels.

 

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (5,407 employees): July 1, 2010 - July 1, 2012

  • 5% pay cut for 12 months in exchange 12 days of personal leave; this leave cannot be cashed out.

  • Current employees' pension contribution rises from 6% to 11% of pay over $317/month for the "Safety" category; from 5% to 10% of pay over $513/month for "Miscellaneous" category.

  • Pay scale restructured on January 1, 2012 to add another top step (5% higher than current top step); only applies to employees who reach the top step.

  • Contract incorporates statute changes of 2009 that eliminated 2 of the 14 paid holidays and premium pay for working on a holiday; restores premium pay for working on any of the following holidays: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

  • One day per year granted to employees in classifications required to receive continuing education for licensure.

 

Related info

 

 

05-12-2010: Seven new dates for public meetings to release initial bargaining proposals 

Public meetings were held on the following dates at 11:00 a.m. in Conference Room A/B at the Department of Personnel Administration, 1515 S Street, North Building, Suite 400, Sacramento, California 95811-7258. These meetings were required by Section 3523 of the Ralph C. Dills Act, which governs collective bargaining for California state civil service employees. For information on proposals made or received at the meetings, see initial bargaining proposals in 2010.

 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

 

See also 03-09-2010: Public meetings to release initial bargaining proposals.

 

 

03-30-2010: Furlough schedule remains unchanged

Furloughs remain in effect as a result of today's First District Court of Appeal rulings. All employees are to follow their regular furlough schedules.

 

  • This updates the news item from March 24 describing the Alameda Court's furlough ruling on that day.

 

 

 

03-24-2010: Update on today's furlough ruling

Today the Alameda court issued a ruling ending furloughs for employees in special fund departments named as Defendants in the lawsuits. This means that as of today, furloughs must be stopped for employees of the 67 special fund departments named in the decision.

 

Although the court's order is effective immediately, the Administration will promptly ask an Appellate Court to allow continuation of furloughs for these affected departments until this matter can be resolved. If this happens, and the Appellate Court orders furloughs to continue we will notify departments immediately.

 

For all other departments who were not named in the Alameda Court action, furloughs remain in effect. Employees in these departments will continue to follow the same furlough schedule currently in place.

 

The next scheduled furlough day is Friday, April 2, 2010.

  • Update: March 30, 2010 - Furlough schedule remains unchanged

 

Special fund departments affected by the March 24, 2010 furlough ruling

  • State Controller's Office
  • Attorney General's Office
  • Department of Insurance
  • First 5 California
  • Air Resources Board
  • Alcoholic Beverages Control Appeals Board
  • Board of California Pilot Commissioners
  • Business Transportation and Housing Agency
  • California Arts Council
  • California Conservation Corps
  • California Earthquake Authority
  • California Highway Patrol
  • California Horse Racing Board
  • California Housing Finance Agency
  • California Labor and Workforce Development Agency
  • California Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board
  • California Postsecondary Education Commission
  • California Prison Industry Authority
  • California State Coastal Conservancy
  • California State Lands Commission
  • California State Lottery Commission
  • California Tahoe Conservancy
  • California Transportation Commission
  • California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board
  • Commission on Teacher Credentialing
  • Department of Aging
  • Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
  • Department of Boating and Waterways
  • Department of Community Services and Development
  • Department of Conservation
  • Department of Consumer Affairs
  • Department of Corporations
  • Department of Financial Institutions
  • Department of Fish and Game
  • Department of Food and Agriculture
  • Department of General Services
  • Department of Health Care Services
  • Department of Housing and Community Development
  • Department of Industrial Relations
  • Department of Managed Health Care
  • Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Department of Parks and Recreation
  • Department of Pesticide Regulation
  • Department of Public Health
  • Department of Real Estate
  • Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery
  • Department of Rehabilitation
  • Department of Social Services
  • Department of Toxic Substances Control
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of Veteran Affairs
  • Department of Water Resources
  • Division of Workers Compensation
  • Emergency Medical Services Authority
  • Employment Development Department
  • Gambling Control Commission
  • Office of Administrative Hearings
  • Office of Real Estate Appraiser
  • Public Employees' Retirement System
  • Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
  • Secretary of State's Office
  • State Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • State Teachers' Retirement System
  • State Water Resources Control Board
  • Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board
  • Wildlife Conservation Board
  • Workers' Compensation Appeals Board
 
 

03-09-2012: Public meetings to release initial bargaining proposals 

Public meetings were held on the following dates at 11:00 a.m. in Conference Room A/B at the Department of Personnel Administration, 1515 S Street, North Building, Suite 400, Sacramento, California 95811-7258. These meetings were required by Section 3523 of the Ralph C. Dills Act, which governs collective bargaining for California state civil service employees. For information on proposals made or received at the meetings, see initial bargaining proposals in 2010.
 
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
 
 
 

03-09-2010: Long-term disability insurance - Open enrollment from April 1 to April 30, 2010

Long-Term Disability Insurance helps protect you from loss of income if an illness or injury prevents you from working for six months or more.
 

Open Enrollment for the Long Term Disability (LTD) Insurance Plan is March 1 through April 30, 2012

During open enrollment eligible employees can enroll in the Plan and current participants can change Plan options. You don't need to re-enroll if you're already in, your coverage continues automatically. You're eligible to enroll if you're an excluded employee in a permanent position that's at least half-time. The monthly premiums are deducted from your paycheck.
 
 
 

 

03-02-2010: Furloughs remain in effect

Many employees have asked about the status of furloughs given recent lower court decisions.

 

Furloughs remain in effect, including furlough Fridays. We expect the issue ultimately will be resolved at the California Supreme Court.

 

At this time you should continue to follow the same furlough work schedule your department has in place.

 

 

 

02-10-2010: DPA responds to SEIU President regarding elimination of Columbus Day and Lincoln's Day holidays

February 10, 2010 (Revised)
 
Yvonne Walker, President
Service Employees International Union, Local 1000
 

Dear Ms. Walker:

 

This letter is in response to your February 2, 2010, letter to Department of Personnel Administration (DPA), Governor Schwarzenegger, and various State department heads disputing the elimination of the Columbus Day and Lincoln's Day holidays. You incorrectly state that Columbus Day and Lincoln's Day remain recognized paid holidays.

 

As you know, Senate Bill X38 was passed by the Legislature and signed into law, effective February 20, 2009. That bill enacted Government Code section 19853 to eliminate Columbus Day and Lincoln's Day as paid holidays for state employees, including employees in all SEIU Bargaining Units. DPA explained its position to SEIU about the elimination of these two holidays on October 6, 2009 in a letter from DPA to Michael Baratz, SEIU Chief of Staff; in DPA's October 15, 2009 grievance response to Paul Harris, SEIU Chief Counsel; and in DPA's November 23, 2009, letter to Brooke Pierman, SEIU Staff Counsel, denying SEIU's demand to arbitrate.

 

SEIU's reliance upon language contained in the still expired MOUs to support its claim that these two days remain as paid holidays is factually and legally incorrect. Government Code section 19853 eliminated the holidays and, although the statute allows the parties after February 20, 2009, to negotiate a different result, no such agreement has been reached or approved by the Legislature. Accordingly, the provisions of the statute allowing for continuation of the holidays have not been met.

 

You should know that the validity of the elimination of these two holidays in the face of an expired MOU was just decided by the court in CASE v. DPA, San Francisco Superior Court Case No. CPF-09-509827. The court, in that case, denied a Petition for Writ of Mandate and Request for Declaratory Relief filed by the California Attorneys, Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers (CASE). CASE argued the two holidays remained in effect for its members because the terms of the BU 2 MOU, although expired, nonetheless still controlled pursuant to Government Code section 3517.8. The Court disagreed and expressly found that Government Code section 19853, and not the expired MOU provisions, applies to state employees.

 

Accordingly, the Columbus Day and Lincoln's Day holidays are no longer paid holidays for state employees. As such, state employees are required to report to work on those days, if scheduled (absent prior approval by the employee's supervisor to use leave credit). Further, employees who are scheduled to work on either day but fail to report without an approved absence may be considered absent without leave (AWOL).

 

Given that this year, Lincoln's Day falls on a Furlough Friday, employees who do not normally report to work on furlough Fridays are not expected to report to work on February 12, 2010. However, non-furloughed and self-directed furloughed employees scheduled to work on February 12, 2010, are expected to report to work. These employees will receive regular pay for working on February 12, 2010, like any other normal work day.

 

As stated in our October 6, 2009 letter, SEIU's recommendation to its members not to work on Columbus Day and Lincoln's Day directly interferes with the State's lawful direction to employees on this subject.

 

Section 5.1 of the MOU requires SEIU to notify all of its officers, stewards, chief stewards, and staff of their obligation and responsibility for maintaining compliance with the No Strike provision, including the responsibility of employees to remain at work during any activity which may be caused or initiated by others, and to encourage employees violating section 5.1 to return to work. Accordingly, should failing to report to work on Columbus Day or Lincoln's Day be considered an unlawful job action, SEIU may be liable for violating the No Strike provision of the MOU.

 

Please feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss this matter further.

 

Sincerely,

 

Julie Chapman

Chief Deputy Director of Policy

 

 

 

01-29-2010: Lincoln's Birthday is no longer a State holiday

DPA would like to alleviate any confusion employees may have regarding the status of Lincoln's Birthday as a recognized paid holiday.
In February 2009, legislation passed that amended the State holiday provisions in Government Code section 19853. The amendment eliminated two paid holidays, effective March 2009:
  • Lincoln's Birthday (February 12)
  • Columbus Day (the second Monday in October)

 

February 12, 2010 falls on a furlough Friday

Employees who don't normally report to work on furlough Fridays are not expected to report to work on February 12, 2010.
 
Employees scheduled to work on February 12, 2010 because they are on self-directed furloughs are expected to report to work. These employees will receive regular pay for working on February 12, 2010, like any other normal work day.
 
Self-directed furloughs apply to specific employees of departments that generate revenue, or where services must continue and employees normally must work on holidays. This includes posted positions in 24/7 facilities such as prisons and hospitals.
 

Requesting time off on February 12

An employee scheduled to work on February 12 must get prior approval from his or her supervisor to use leave credits. If an employee does not receive prior approval from their supervisor, the employee will not be paid for the day, just like any other unapproved absence. The absence will be considered absent without leave (AWOL).
 

For additional information

You may review Personnel Management Liaison memo 2009-040, dated September 17, 2009.
 
 
 

01-04-2010: Flu season is starting - keep yourself and others healthy

Flu season is here

This year, both the seasonal flu and the 2009 H1N1 flu (swine flu) will affect our community and our workplace.
 
The Governor formed a task force to recommend ways to protect State employees from the flu and ensure we keep essential State services going. We at DPA are working with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and other State and federal agencies to keep you informed and safe this flu season.
 

Keep yourself and others healthy

If you get the flu, you can get sick and spread the flu to others at home, work, and the community. The California Department of Public Health and federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) made this important recommendation:
 
Stay home if you have influenza symptoms (fever and cough, sore throat, or runny nose) to avoid infecting others. If you have influenza, stay home until you've been fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medications. Do not go back to work with a fever. A temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius) is a fever.
 

Guidance for State employees

The following letter was issued to all State employees from the cabinet official who oversees them.

 

Health officials expect the flu to spread in the coming months. This year, both the seasonal flu and the 2009 H1N1 flu (swine flu) will affect our community and our workplace.

 

What we're doing

The Governor formed a task force to recommend ways to protect State employees from the flu and ensure we keep essential State services going. We're working with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Department of Personnel Administration (DPA), and other State and federal agencies to keep you informed and safe this flu season.

 

Keep yourself and others healthy

The California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend these few very important and simple things that every individual can do:

  • Stay home if you have influenza symptoms (fever and cough, sore throat, or runny nose) to avoid infecting others. If you have influenza, stay home until you've been fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medications. Do not go back to work with a fever. A temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius) is a fever.

  • Seek medical care for severe respiratory symptoms such as difficulty breathing or for dehydration from vomiting and/or diarrhea. You may also need to seek early medical attention if you have a chronic health condition that puts you at risk for the complications of influenza.

  • If you do need to seek medical care or go out in public, try to use a surgical face-mask when you go out, so that you do not infect others.

  • Wash hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes (cough or sneeze into an arm or shoulder or into a tissue). (see "Why don't we do it in our sleeves" at www.coughsafe.com/media.html)

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread that way.

  • Keep your distance from people who are coughing. Avoid sharing personal items such as eating/drinking utensils, toothbrushes, and towels, especially with ill persons.

 

If you have had very close contact (for example, live in the same household) with a person with active influenza symptoms, you should:

  • Watch carefully for symptoms of cough, sore throat, or runny nose.

  • Stay home if fever and cough, runny nose, or sore throat develop; go home as soon as possible if influenza-like symptoms occur at work.

  • Talk to your health care provider about whether to take antiviral medication for influenza.

 

For more information

 

These additional recommendations apply to health care and custodial settings:

 

Guidance for supervisors and managers

The following letter was issued to all State supervisors and managers from the cabinet official who oversees them.

 

Health officials expect the flu to spread in the coming months. This year, both the seasonal flu and the 2009 H1N1 flu (swine flu) will affect our community and our workplace.

 

What we're doing

We're working with the Governor's Office, the California Department of Public Health, the Department of Personnel Administration (DPA), and other State and federal agencies to ensure the health of our employees and continuity of government services.

 

Along with this letter and the one to employees, DPA issued a memo to personnel offices with guidelines for using employee leave credits. DPA's memo also offered guidance on using alternate work week schedules, telework, and flextime for employees who might otherwise miss work.

 

Keep the workplace safe

The California Department of Public Health and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend:
  • Recommend that employees stay home or go home when they are sick with influenza symptoms. Staff with symptoms of influenza (fever and cough, sore throat, or runny nose) should stay home until they are fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medications. Employees should not come back to work with a fever.
  • Review your leave policies. Work with your personnel office if you have questions.
  • If you have increasing absenteeism due to employees home sick with influenza symptoms, protect remaining employees against the spread of influenza by limiting meetings and conferences. Instead of face-to-face meetings and conferences, consider using email, telework, web- and teleconferences.
  • Maintain a supply of face tissues and access to handwashing facilities or hand hygiene products (alcohol-based hand sanitizer), and make these available throughout the workplace.
  • Place disinfectant wipes in commonly used places. Encourage employees to disinfect commonly touched hard surfaces in the workplace, such as work stations, counter tops, and door knobs.
  • Post signs informing people to "cover their cough" and wash their hands in facility locations such as entrances, visitation rooms, notice boards, conference rooms, break rooms, and restrooms, where feasible and appropriate. Examples of these posters in English and other languages can be found at:

 

For more information

See the Information for Businesses and Employers page from the California Department of Public Health. This page has links to the latest information and guidance from medical professionals.
 

Guidance for HR staff - PML 2009-037 - Update on the H1N1 Influenza

 

 

Q & A - Labor Relations and Human Resources Policy for Departments with Institutions 

This page clarifies Title 8 Cal/OSHA requirements for State Agencies with inmates, patients, and health care workers with respect to both the H1N1 and seasonal flu.
 

Does the requirement for signed declination by health care workers who do not want to receive seasonal influenza vaccine apply to H1N1 vaccine?

Vaccination of health care workers in acute care facilities is required under SB 739 (Speier, Chapter 526, Statutes of 2006).
Currently, the Cal/OSHA Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD) standard requires that all employees with occupational exposure be offered the seasonal influenza vaccine.
In September 2010, additional vaccine requirements for health care workers will take effect, and will include all influenza vaccine. See the All Facility Letter 09-29, dated October 1, 2009, by the California Department of Public Health, regarding 2009-2010 vaccination requirements for licensed facilities.
In addition, the All Facility Letter 09-Director's Response recommends that all facility types offer the Novel H1N1 vaccine to all employees free of charge, just as they are required to do for seasonal vaccine.
 

What should we do if an employee refuses to sign the declination? If we require declinations, does that mean that we require employees to sign these documents?

If an employee refuses to sign the declination, note on the form that the employee has refused to sign. As a best practice, we suggest you also keep a list of employees who refused to sign.
 

Are departments required to track which employees received the H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccine or both, and which employees have declined? If the employees obtain the vaccine from another source, should we make note of that?

Departments should track the vaccination status of their employees, including both those who are vaccinated and those who decline.
Also, departments may want to revise their declination form to include a section for employees who decline vaccination because they received the vaccine somewhere other than the work site. Knowing who's been vaccinated will become important if there's a workplace exposure to H1N1.
Departments should also maintain a line listing of vaccination status information of all employees for easy reference if needed. As with all employee medical information, maintain vaccination status in a confidential manner.
 

Should an employee who claims to have had an H1N1 infection sign the declination?

Since most people are never confirmed to have H1N1 infection and may have had a different infection, they should receive the vaccine. The vaccine is safe even for people who have had an H1N1 infection. Employees who decline to be vaccinated because they suspect they had the H1N1 infection should still sign the declination.
 

Title 8 and the interim policy on H1N1 state that employees must use respirators when entering or working in areas where patients with suspected or confirmed illness are located. Does this include all staff working in a building, unit, or clinic where the inmate or patient is housed, even if the employees don't necessarily have direct contact with sick inmates or patients?

The employer must determine which employees have occupational exposure. At the same time, you should try to reduce the number of employees who are exposed to infectious patients.
All staff who have direct exposure to patients, whatever their job description, must wear respirators when in contact with H1N1 patients. This includes:
  • employees working within 6 feet of a suspected or confirmed H1N1 patient,
  • employees working in an enclosed area, such as the patient room, and
  • anyone transporting a patient if the patient is not wearing a surgical mask.
Not all employees working in a given building need to use respirators, even if the standard applies to that facility. Employee who don't enter the patients' rooms or otherwise having direct contact with suspected or confirmed H1N1 cases don't need to use respirators.
See also:
 

In the health care or correctional environment, can we require employees who report to work exhibiting flu symptoms to wear a mask while working around inmates or patients?

You should strongly encourage employees to stay home or go home when they become ill with flu-like symptoms.
The ATD standard requires employers to implement source control procedures for persons entering a facility, service, or operation. These procedures include providing a surgical mask or other means by which people can cover their cough. You should follow these procedures for all people who exhibit symptoms, including employees.
 

Is there a requirement that employers investigate exposure incidents or the occurrence of disease?

Employers covered by the ATD standard should investigate exposure incidents -- incidents involving unprotected exposure to a confirmed or suspected H1N1 case -- in a manner that ensures employee and patient confidentiality. These investigations should focus on finding the root cause of the unprotected exposure so that workplace procedures can be revised to prevent similar occurrences.
 
Employers should send health care workers who have unprotected exposures to H1N1 patients to a health care provider for evaluation to determine if there is a need for antiviral prophylaxis.
 
If an employer discovers that an employee has developed an illness even though there has been no report of an exposure incident, an investigation is optional. However, if the employer has reason to believe the illness resulted from a workplace exposure or other circumstances, the employer must investigate. Again, this must be done in a manner that protects the confidentiality of the patient and employees.
 
An investigation should be conducted in all cases involving serious illness or a fatality that must be reported to Cal/OSHA.
 
In work environments where the ATD standard does not apply, supervisors should not investigate employee illness or notify others who may have been exposed.
 

Title 8 requires training staff regarding exposure control, use of respirators, mode of transmittal, and vaccination education. Are memos, electronic communications, or both sufficient? Or is further training required? If further training is needed, would that be for all staff? Or only for health care providers and custody workers?

Training must be provided to all employees with occupational exposure. The Cal/OSHA ATD standard, subsection i, lists the required content.
 
While some training elements may be provided by memos or other electronic communication, other training elements, such the proper use of respirators, must occur in person. That's the only way to ensure, for example, that an employee can correctly put on and take off the respirator. (Respirator training is sometimes done in conjunction with respirator fit-testing, which also must be done in person).
 
Training must include an opportunity for interactive questions and answers from a knowledgeable person. Electronic media can be used for that, but you must meet the interaction requirements and time limits.
 

Can facilities screen staff for illness when they report to work in a health care or institutional facility?

Routine staff screening currently is not recommended for the H1N1 pandemic. However, this may change in accordance with the CDC Guidelines if the pandemic becomes significantly more severe. See the CDC Guidance for Business and Employers to Plan and Respond to the 2009-2010 Influenza Season.
 
Employees should screen themselves for signs and symptoms that indicate they need to stay home, go home from work, or seek medical attention. You should support this by training the employee to recognize significant signs or symptoms.
 

If an employee gets the H1N1 vaccine, does that provide enough protection that a N95 respirator would no longer be required?

No. All employees who have direct exposure to suspected or confirmed cases of H1N1 must use respirators. Likewise, unprotected exposures following vaccination should be managed with the same procedures, even though the risk of infection is low.
 

Who gets vaccinated in a medical care or institutional setting? Just those who provide direct care? Or do ancillary staff such as administrative staff and food service workers get vaccinated too?

All employees get vaccinated, but those with the highest risk of exposure will receive the vaccine first.
 

How do we prioritize dispensing vaccine to State health care providers and institutional custody employees who have contact with patients?

Employees with the highest risk of exposure will receive the vaccine first. Other employees may receive the vaccine after those employees with the highest risk of exposure have been vaccinated, when the vaccine is available.
 
When the supply of vaccine is limited, vaccinators should follow the CDC and CDPH recommendations and vaccinate target groups first. Health care workers are one of the target groups, regardless of other health conditions.
See also:
 

Do the ATD regulations require staff in any health care or custodial facility to provide a signed declination if they do not accept the vaccination?

See the first two questions above.
 

Does the ATD standard require supplying antiviral medication to staff who become ill or have an unprotected exposure? If so, will there be any change if the employee is vaccinated?

Employees with a significant unprotected exposure to an H1N1 patient should be offered an evaluation by a health care provider at no cost. Prophylaxis may be indicated for certain employees with health conditions that put them at high risk of complications from influenza. Employees may elect to see their own providers.
 

Is H1N1 in a health care worker a recordable illness for the CalOSHA 300 Log? Does this depend on whether the public health department considers it reportable?

Seasonal influenza is not required to be listed on the 300 Log. However, H1N1 is not seasonal influenza, and until further notice, Cal/OSHA requires that occupational H1N1 infections be recorded on the 300 Log.
 

Is the employer required to report H1N1 in a health care worker to the local health department?

The treating health care facility is required to report hospitalized cases or deaths to the local public health department. The employing institution is not required to report cases to public health.
 
Currently, hospitals are required to report hospitalized H1N1 cases in aggregate. They also must report by name
  • individual patients treated in the Intensive Care Unit and
  • fatal cases.
 
The must also include additional details, including the patient's occupation if the affected patient is a health care worker.
 
An institution is required to report outbreaks of illness to the local health department. An outbreak may include staff, residents, and inmates. An outbreak is defined as any cluster of illness that either represents a significant departure from expected background illness or may have a common source of exposure.
 

Is the employer required to report H1N1 in a health care worker to Cal/OSHA?

The employee is required to report to Cal/OSHA:
  • any work-related employee illness requiring hospitalization for more than 24 hours other than for observation and
  • any fatal work-related illness.

 

 

 

01-04-2010: Questions and answers about the 2009/2010 flu season and the H1N1 flu

How can supervisors and managers help to prevent the spread of flu in the workplace?

Encourage employees to:

 

What are the leave options available to employees with the flu?

  • Sick Leave
  • Vacation
  • Annual Leave
  • Compensating Time Off
  • Personnel Leave Program
  • Voluntary Personal Leave Program
  • Holiday Leave
  • Banked or self-directed Furlough Hours
  • Catastrophic Leave
  • Non-Industrial Disability Insurance (NDI)
  • State Disability Insurance (SDI, SEIU Bargaining Units only)
  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
  • Unpaid Leave of Absence

 

 

What options are available for an employee with little or no sick leave who can't come to work because of the flu?

If the employee doesn't have any leave credits, the eligible employee may ask the department to establish a catastrophic leave bank. A catastrophic leave bank collects leave credits donated by other employees to cover the employee's absence. Catastrophic leave bank provisions are specified in the employee's collective bargaining agreement or, for excluded employees, under DPA Rule 599.925.

 

The employee may also be eligible for NDI or SDI.

 

Will the State provide administrative time off?

No. Employees may use the leave options already listed.

 

May an employee who isn't sick stay home and use sick leave because the employee is afraid of getting the flu? Can employees stay home and use sick leave if they're afraid they may have been exposed to the flu?

No. Generally, an employee may use sick leave only when unable to work due to illness or injury. An employee who wants to take other leave credits may request the time off, subject to supervisor approval.

 

What if an employee has to stay home with a sick child or dependent?

The employee can use family sick leave or other available leave credits. If the employee doesn't have any leave credits, and eligible employee may ask the department to establish a catastrophic leave bank. A catastrophic leave bank collects leave credits donated by other employees to cover the employee's absence. Catastrophic leave bank provisions are specified in the employee's collective bargaining agreement and, for excluded employees, under DPA Rule 599.925.

 

The school or day care the employee's child attends has been closed because of the flu. The child is not sick, but the parent cannot find a babysitter. What are the employee's leave options?

If employees need to be at home because of a school or day care closure, employees may use vacation, annual leave, or other available leave credits. However, family sick leave may only be used if the child is sick.

 

Are employees' rights protected by law if they have to take time off due to illness but have no leave?

The CFRA (Government Code sections 12945.1 and 12945.2) is similar to FMLA and protects the rights of an eligible employee to take leave when the employee has a "serious health condition" that does not allow the employee to "perform the essential functions" of the job. CFRA provides eligible employees 12 weeks of unpaid leave and continuance of health benefits. Contact your Personnel Office for specific information on CFRA/FMLA.

 

Can employees wear surgical face masks at work if they choose?

Yes. Surgical masks may be helpful in preventing people who are ill from spreading illness. However, since they don't seal closely to the face, they provide limited to no protection from inhaling infectious particles.

 

Can supervisors require employees with the flu to wear surgical face masks at work?

No. Supervisors cannot require it, but they may encourage employees with the flu to wear surgical face masks until they can go home.

 

Do these answers apply in every situation?

No. State employees who work in institutional or healthcare settings may have additional requirements such as the new Cal/OSHA Aerosol Transmittable Diseases standard. Refer to the Cal/OSHA website for the latest standards.
 

What other recommendations apply to employees who work in institutional or healthcare settings?

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued recommendations and guidelines- You can find these recommendations on the CDPH website for Novel Influenza A (H1N1) Virus (Swine Flu) and
 

Can employees telecommute if they're well enough to work from home?

Departments have discretion to offer telecommuting as an option so employees can work from home. Departments have discretion to approve telecommuting based on the operational needs of the department. Some positions may not be conducive to telecommuting based on the employee's duties and responsibilities. Prior to approving a request, review the department's telecommute policy and the telework provisions in the collective bargaining agreement.
 

At what point should departments take precautions such as teleconferencing to limit flu from spreading in the workplace?

Departments that experience increased absenteeism due to employees out sick with the flu can take precautions to protect employees in the workplace. For example, instead of face-to-face meetings and conferences, departments may consider using web conferences and teleconferences, and rely more on email and teleworking.
 

How should supervisors respond to an employee who shows signs of the flu ?

During flu season, it's critical that employees do not report to work while they are ill. Employees with any of these symptoms should not report to work: fever with cough or sore throat. Other symptoms include runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, or fatigue.

 

If an employee has these symptoms, encourage the employee to go home and stay home until the employee has been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications. (A fever is a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.8 degrees Celsius.)

 

For purposes of determining whether an employee should be excused from work, CDPH recommends following the same procedures you would use for seasonal flu in terms of preventing and managing illness in the workplace.

 

How should a supervisor respond to an employee who has the flu but doesn't want to leave work or stay home?

CDPH and the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend employees with the flu stay away from other employees in the workplace and go home. Supervisors can encourage employees with the flu to stay away from other employees until they leave work. Supervisors may allow employees who feel well enough to work from home to telecommute if appropriate.

 

Let employees know about their leave options. If the employee doesn't have any leave credits, an eligible employee may ask the department to establish a catastrophic leave bank. A catastrophic leave bank collects leave credits donated by other employees to cover the employee's absence. Catastrophic leave bank provisions are specified in the employee's collective bargaining agreement and, for excluded employees, under DPA Rule 599.925.

 

May an employee leave work or refuse to report to work for fear of catching the flu from co-workers or the public?

No. During flu season, unless employees are sick, they are expected to report for work and perform the normal duties of their positions. If an employee fails to report to work and doesn't have an acceptable excuse, the employee could be considered absent without leave (AWOL) and may be subject to disciplinary action.

 

Can employees with the flu decide whether to go home and when to return to work?

Yes, just as in any other flu season. Employees should stay home until they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications. (A fever is a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.8 degrees Celsius.)

 

Does an employee need a doctor's note to return to work?

Generally, employees don't need a doctor's note to return to work. However, there may be leave programs and policies that require a doctor's note to return to work (for example, CFRA, FMLA, etc.). Supervisors should contact their department's personnel office for further guidance.

 

Can a supervisor ask for medical verification of an employee's illness?

Supervisors need to check

 

  • the departmental sick leave provisions and

  • the provisions in the employee's collective bargaining agreement

 

to determine under what circumstances they can ask an employee for medical verification.

 

Should supervisors investigate outbreaks of the flu and notify other employees who might have been exposed?

No. An employee's health condition is a protected private matter and cannot be disclosed unless mandated by appropriate health agencies investigating exposure. At this time, individual cases of the flu are not being routinely investigated. The State employer takes its direction from public health officials regarding this issue.

 

Should supervisors advise employees with high-risk conditions (for example, pregnancy, diabetes, or heart conditions) to seek medical consultation?

No. Supervisors should not advise employees about their health conditions. You can let all employees know that CDPH and CDC advise employees with high-risk conditions to consult their own medical providers if they show signs of the flu.
 

Guidance on HR/LR issues for departments with institutions

 

At what point should departments discourage or restrict business travel?

At this time, the State has not restricted business travel due to the H1N1 flu. If it becomes necessary to restrict travel due to an increase in the flu's severity, DPA will inform departments. Prior to making any decisions on travel restrictions, DPA will confer with and obtain information from CDPH.

 

Can an employee who misses work due to the flu claim workers' compensation benefits?

The State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) administers the State's workers' compensation claims. SCIF reviews and makes a determination to approve or deny the claim. Worker's compensation only covers injuries and illnesses that are work-related.

 

  Updated: 5/23/2012
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