August 14, 2019 Update

Know Your Rights. Travel Reimbursement. CAPS MOU, Section 6.1 allows State Scientists to be reimbursed for “for actual, necessary, and appropriate business and travel expenses in accordance with CalHR rules and Online HR Manual sections 2201 (Travel and Relocation Policy), 2202 (Mileage Reimbursement), and 2203 (Allowances and Travel Reimbursements).” These policies allow for State Scientists to be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred for authorized work trips such as airline tickets; lodging at “commercial lodging establishments such as hotels, motels, bed and breakfast inns, public campgrounds, or short-term rentals (such as Airbnb) that cater to the general public,” as long as it fits within the maximum short-term lodging reimbursement rates published within the HR Manual here; and meals as long as they fit within the travel time frames and maximum meal allowances published here. Sometimes the state’s reimbursement rates for lodging won’t cover the cost of available accommodations. If you are traveling to a location and cannot find lodging that fits CalHR’s prescribed maximums, be sure to submit an excess lodging request before you book, to ensure you get reimbursed for the full amount of your trip. If you experience issues with travel reimbursements, be sure to contact CAPS: .

CAPS Member Needs Your Help! Department of Public Health Associate Health Physicist and CAPS Board Member James Thomas has requested catastrophic leave donations in order to continue receiving pay and benefits.  Section 3.10 of the CAPS MOU allows transfer of leave credits as catastrophic leave: CTO, Personal Leave, Annual Leave, Vacation, Personal Day, and/or Holiday Credit. If donating Personal Holidays, they must be donated in whole-day increments per the donating employee’s time base. All other donations must be made in a minimum of one hour (1.00) increments. Sick leave cannot be donated. If you can spare even ONE HOUR, it would greatly assist Director Thomas.  CAPS thanks all who can assist.  For more details:  https://capsscientists.org/resources/catastrophic-leave-donations/

Board of Directors’ Meeting Scheduled for August 24. The next Board of Directors’ meeting is scheduled for Saturday, August 24, 2019 at the Holiday Inn Sacramento Downtown Arena (300 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95814), commencing at 9 a.m. All members are welcome to attend; parking will be validated. The Agenda and Proposed Motions can be found on the CAPS website in the Members Only section. Password is Summer2019. It is case-sensitive.

News Briefs

CalEPA Secretary Jared Blumenfeld on California’s Environmental Priorities Under the Trump Administration (Audio Interview) — The Environmental Protection secretary joins Forum to discuss how the state is responding to the Trump administration’s environmental rollbacks and what he sees as the state’s top priorities and challenges.

Send in the owls and cats. How rats in California state building panicked environmentalists — For one activist group, cats and owls were the weapons of choice. Something needed to be done to kill the rats infesting the courtyard outside the California EPA building earlier this summer. But not mongooses. Oh no. Not those.