Dear State Scientists:
Several days ago we updated you that the situation was changing daily regarding guidance from the CDC, WHO, and local public health officials regarding how to address the COVID-19 Pandemic. We wanted to continue to update you, letting you know the CAPS Board of Directors supports sheltering in place for CAPS members, CAPS staff, and everyone directed to do so.
If you encounter difficulties with ensuring your Department is providing for your ability to social distance, or with accessing telework or Administrative Time Off (ATO), please contact CAPS via email () immediately. CAPS is working with members who have alerted us to their need for assistance, to ensure that they are provided the necessary accommodations according to state law and policies. CAPS has strongly advocated that all departments roll out more flexible and easily arrangeable telework for members who can work remotely, and ATO for members who need it. For those that must enter their work place as essential workers, CAPS strongly encourages departments ensure there is sufficient safety and social distancing protocols in place. We will continue to advocate for the safety and well-being of our members.
As all of California has been given directives that include Shelter in Place orders, the CAPS offices are currently closed, and our staff are working remotely.
On March 18, CalHR released guidance to all Departments regarding which actions to take to keep the workforce of California safe and healthy.
The instructions to departments were that they should determine which employees are working in essential duties and to implement social distancing protocols for those employees; if employees do not work in these so-called essential functions, they should determine whether the employees can telework when performing their typical duties; if they can’t telework, departments should determine whether their duties can be shifted so they can telework; and finally, if employees do not work in essential functions and their jobs cannot be performed remotely, they should be provided ATO.
This aligns with what CAPS has been urging the Administration to do, as many State Scientists perform essential functions for the State, and some are even actively involved in responding to the Pandemic.
To read the CalHR letter, click here. Additionally, CalHR released a new page on their website, called “COVID-19 Updates for State Workers,” which they have informed CAPS will update regularly with the most current guidance. See that page here.
We thank you for your support and understanding during this fluid time. CAPS members continue to ensure the protection of public health, the environment, agriculture, and California’s vast natural resources. CAPS is here to assist you, please contact CAPS () with any questions.