Returning Employees to work June 22,2020
On June 5, 2020, the Health Officer of the County of Contra Costa amended its Health Order to permit businesses to reopen as long as social distancing protocols can be observed. In accordance with applicable guidance provided by state and local authorities, the City plans for employees to begin returning to work on or about June 22, 2020. I have asked each department head to evaluate their unique functions and workspace and plan for returning employees by June 22 or evaluate their eligibility for use of available leave.
Employee safety is a high priority of the City, and we are committed to ensuring a work environment that follows state and federal guidelines including providing you masks, sanitizer, and establishing appropriate social distancing throughout your work environment. The City will continue to evaluate additional policies, procedures, and protocols designed to limit the likelihood of transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace.
A detailed assessment of every City facility is underway by an outside firm specializing in industrial hygiene which will provide specific recommendations for each area to ensure appropriate steps are taken for your safety. This will include clear direction on social distancing, sanitizing protocols, use of shared spaces, public access, etc.
The City will require all employees to view a training video with more specific information for workplace safety related to COVID-19. A self-screen for COVID-19 is being prepared for use by employees before coming in to the workplace each day, as well as vendors and visitors which is intended to reduce exposure risks. We will provide more information about this process this week.
Leave Options if you are unavailable to return June 22
Attached is information that has already been provided to you about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) , which went in to effect April 1, 2020. The FFCRA requires certain employers, including the City, to provide employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions apply through December 31, 2020.
For many of you the most pressing concern may be a lack of childcare due to COVID-19, and that is one of the specified reasons covered by FFCRA. A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document is being prepared for distribution that should answer most of your questions. More specific information on eligibility for leave as well as forms to request it, and how departments should track it, will be made available this week and posted on the Human Resources website. You can also call Human Resources at Extension 6602 for assistance.
Use of Other Leave
Additionally, the City Council on June 9 affirmed that full-time City employees may make use of their regular accruals if they are not able to work and are not eligible for, or run out of, FFCRA leave. Departments may continue using telework, where feasible, to limit the number of people in facilities as we phase back in and may offer to stagger days in the office with remote work. This will be evaluated, however, on a case-by-case basis based on business necessity, physical space layouts for each work group, and individual circumstances (e.g. an employee with childcare issues may be able to telework a portion of a day or the week and only need to use some leave to remain in paid status).
Employees who are: 1) unable to work from home due to job assignment, 2) have underlying health issues and cannot work from home, or 3) do not have enough work to complete 75 hours per pay period will be permitted to use regular accrued leave. If insufficient leave exists, an employee may go in to unpaid status and may be eligible for unemployment insurance. The City is also exploring offering an option to “advance” a fixed amount of accrued leave to these employees that would be repaid with future accruals upon return to paid status as a way to assist employees to maintain current compensation whenever possible.
I appreciate the cooperation of all City employees during the shelter in place order and assisting us with providing vital city services to the public. I understand there may be some anxiety in returning to work, and we are partnering with your managers and union representatives to ensure that this can be done safely.
Should you have any questions or concerns about your ability to return as directed by your manager, please contact Interim Human Resources Director Allison Picard at Ext. 6531, or Senior Personnel Analyst Jessica Somera at Ext. 6601.
What are the requirements for wearing masks while at work or out in the Public?
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”), and the Contra Costa County Health Services Department (“CCHS”) have recommended that members of the public, when they need to interact with others outside the home and especially in settings where many people are present such as waiting in lines and shopping, should cover the mouth and nose to prevent inadvertently spreading the virus that causes Coronavirus Disease 2019
(“COVID-19”). The CDC, CDPH, and CCHS now believe that wearing a face covering, when combined with physical distancing of at least 6 feet and frequent hand washing, may reduce the risk of transmitting coronavirus when in public and engaged in essential
activities by reducing the spread of respiratory droplets. And because it is not always possible to maintain at least 6 feet of distance, members of the public and workers should wear face coverings while engaged in most essential activities and other activities when others are nearby. For clarity, although wearing a face covering is one tool for reducing the spread of the virus, doing so is not a substitute for sheltering in place, physical distancing of at least 6 feet, and frequent hand washing.
Purchasing has recently acquired 1000 masks and have distributed them to the various departments. Please see your supervisor for a mask to wear while at work
More detail on Contra Costa Health Services Oder on masks available here.
How will I know if I should come in to work?
Your manager will contact you to let you know if you should report to work.
How will staff be contacted if activated as emergency responders?
Staff will be contacted by all means available, including email and phones (work, cell, home).
Do CivicSpark Americorps Fellows need to complete the Emergency Telecommute Agreement?
No; LGC has their own telecommute process in place.
How do I check and change voicemail remotely?
To check voicemail remotely:
Enter your extension number
Dial your password followed by #
Follow prompts to check voicemail or change greeting.
Am I supposed to report time spent on the City’s COVID-19 assigned work activities?
Reporting time worked on tasks specific to the City’s COVID-19 response have been put in place. Specifically, this change in time reporting is only for time activities specific to COVID-19. If you are performing your normal work tasks you should report them as you are currently reporting.
Below is the breakdown pertinent to each employee group.
Non-sworn Salaried employees
For employees who currently report their exception time via Munis Employee Self Service (ESS) for things like Jury Duty, Bereavement Leave or Parental Leave) should report COVID-19 specific hours according to the following three situations: COVID-19 work straight time, Shelter in place non-working, or Shelter in Place Sick Quarantine. If you are working your normal job duties you don’t have to do anything different.
Part time employees need to complete a paper time sheet for hours worked and submit it to their supervisor for approval as is the current practice. Any hours worked on COVID-19 specific tasks should be reported using the new category on the new time sheet distributed by Payroll to all supervisors.
Sworn employees should continue to report time as they currently do using Telestaff or InTime. The administrator of these systems will provide the instructions for reporting COVID-19 specific time.
How can I access internal documents when working from home?
There is no way to access city servers through personal computers. Please speak with your manager on how to best access internal documents.
How can I access my email remotely?
You can access your email at https://exchange.ci.richmond.ca.us/owa/. Use the same username and password you use to log onto your computer at work.
Is unemployment an option for temporary employees who are out of work for the temporary closure?
If your employer has reduced your hours or shut down operations due to COVID-19, you can file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim. UI provides partial wage replacement benefit payments to workers who lose their job or have their hours reduced, through no fault of their own. Workers who are temporarily unemployed due to COVID-19 and expected to return to work with their employer within a few weeks are not required to actively seek work each week. However, they must remain able and available and ready to work during their unemployment for each week of benefits claimed and meet all other eligibility criteria. Eligible individuals can receive benefits that range from $40-$450 per week.
The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so you can collect UI benefits for the first week you are out of work. If you are eligible, the EDD processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.
What are the Social Distancing protocols for City Hall?
See City Hall Social Distancing Protocols