MENDOCINO Co., 4/16/20 — California’s Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order today that will provide food sector workers who do not have sick leave benefits and are impacted by the coronavirus pandemic with two weeks of paid sick leave if sick, required to quarantine or under a medical directive, including grocery store workers, farm and ag workers, fast food workers, delivery drivers, and other parts of the food supply chain. Today’s order also increases requirements for safety protections in the food industry and essential workplaces.
Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of orders from Newsom’s office to support essential workers, including additional assistance with childcare for grocery and healthcare workers, and assistance with housing for health care workers. More information about those programs can be found at the state’s Covid-19 website.
Here’s the full statement from Newsom’s office:
Governor Newsom Announces Paid Sick Leave Benefits for Food Sector Workers Impacted by COVID-19, Additional Protections for Consumers
Governor’s Executive Order will benefit workers in grocery stores and fast food chains, and delivery drivers
Order will give two weeks of supplemental paid sick leave to certain food sector workers if they are subject to a quarantine or isolation order or medical directive
Order also calls for increased hand-washing measures at food facilities to increase consumer protection
SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today signed an executive order to support California workers from large employers in the food sector industry impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with two weeks of paid sick leave, filling a gap left by federal relief that had provided similar paid leave benefits for employers with fewer than 500 workers.
Workers in the food sector, including farmworkers, agricultural workers, and those working in grocery stores and fast food chains, and as delivery drivers, are part of the state’s essential infrastructure workforce, and have continued to work to serve Californians.
“These workers on the front lines of this crisis are our unsung heroes for continuing to work to ensure that Californians have food on their tables during these challenging times, and we must do everything in our power to make sure they are taken care of at home and in the workplace. Making sure they have paid sick leave and added protections in their place of work is critical,” said Governor Newsom.
Additionally, the Executive Order provides health and safety standards to increase worker and customer protection by permitting workers at food facilities to wash their hands every 30 minutes, or as needed, to increase proper sanitation measures.
The Administration has taken several actions to ensure food worker protections, including recently issued guidance by Cal/OSHA for the grocery industry on best practices on physical distancing, disinfecting, and the use of reusable bags. Also, the Governor released $100 million to support child care for essential infrastructure workers, including grocery workers, and vulnerable populations last week.
A copy of the Governor’s executive order can be found here and text can be found here.
Learn more about the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts here. Visit covid19.ca.gov or covid19.ca.gov/es for critical steps Californians can take to stay healthy, and resources available to those impacted by the outbreak.