Learn about your rights as an employee

Learn about common employment issues that happen after a disaster.

  • Disaster Unemployment Assistance
  • Unsafe work conditions
  • Job loss due to COVID-19
  • COVID-19 protections for employees

Employment Resources

Disaster Unemployment

COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) provides financial help to workers that are unable to work because of natural disasters

You may be eligible for DUA if you lived or worked in the disaster area, and the disaster affected you in the following ways:

  1. You no longer have a place to work, or job
  2. You cant make it to your place of work
  3. Your work site was damaged
  4. You are unable to work due to an injury caused by the disaster

Apply for DUA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides employees with sick leave for reasons related to COVID-19.

Protections are available until December 31, 2020.

You may qualify for up to two weeks of paid sick leave if you are unable to work due to :

  1. Quarantine or isolation orders related to COVID-19
  2. Your doctor told you quarantine due to COVID-19
  3. You have COVID-19 symptoms and are seeking diagnosis
  4.  You are caring for someone that is quarantined or under isolation order due to COVID-19 or someone that is self-quarantined
  5. You are caring for you child whose school or childcare is closed due to COVID-19
  6. You are experiencing a substantially-similar condition as specified by the DHHS

COVID-19 Worker Protections

Wildfire Worker Protections

Starting November 30 these emergency protections are in effect:

Temporary Cal/OSHA worker protections:

  1. Your employer must have a written COVID-19 protection plan
  2. Your employer must provide you with information and training about COVID-19 spread and prevention

If there have three or more COVID-19 cases at  your workplace in the last two weeks

  1. your employer must provide you with free COVID-19 testing if you had potential exposure at work
  2. You employer must notify the local health department within 48 hours of learning that there at least three or more COVID-19 cases.
Cal/OSHA has an emergency regulation (section 5141.1) to protect employees exposed to wildfire smoke.

If you are working when the AQI is 151 or greater you are protected!

Your employer must do the following to protect you from wildfire smoke
(1) Check the current AQI before and periodically during each shift.
(2) Provide training to employees.
(3) Lower employee exposures.
(4) Provide respirators and encourage their use.

Check if your job is doing enough to keep you safeCheck if your job is doing enough to keep you safeReport Unsafe Working Conditions HereReport Unsafe Working Conditions Here
Relief FundInfo
Southern Smoke FoundationProvides financial help to those in the food and beverage industry

Apply Here

Employment FAQs

Is my employer required to pay me for the time that I was unable to work due to the fire?

Possibly. Generally, if you are a salaried employee, your employer is required to continue to pay you if you were unable to work due to the fire. Conversely, if you are an hourly or contract employee, your employer is not required to pay you for the work that you missed due to the fire.

Is my employer required to provide me with paid or unpaid leave if I was injured as a result of the fire?

Possibly. Your employer may be required to provide you with unpaid leave, if, you or a member of your immediate family is suffering from a serious health condition or you are disabled and granting such leave would be necessary to reasonably accommodate your disability.

Is my employer required to provide me with paid or unpaid leave if I am too emotionally traumatized to return to work after the fire?

Possibly. Your employer may be required to provide you with unpaid leave, if your emotional trauma constitutes a serious health condition or disability which requires such accommodations

What benefits can I apply for if I am unable to return to work as a result of the fire?

You may be eligible for federal or state benefits, including: disability benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, or disaster unemployment benefits. Check with your employer or the Employment Development Department to determine your eligibility.You can determine your eligibility and file a claim for Unemployment Insurance Benefits, either by phone at 1-800-300-5616 or online at eapply4ui.edd.ca.gov.

What is Unemployment Insurance and how canI file a claim for it?

Unemployment Insurance provides temporary income to workers who are eligible to work in the United States but have lost their job through no fault of their own. Unemployment Insurance is paid weekly and the payment amount is generally based on the worker’s earnings during the previous calendar year. You can determine your eligibility and file a claim for Unemployment Insurance, either by phone at 1-800-300-5616 or online at eapply4ui.edd.ca.gov

Kendall Jarvis
Disaster Relief Attorney
Legal Aid of Sonoma County

Tomas Gonzalez
Disaster Relief Case Manager
Legal Aid of Sonoma County
Email

Kris Lopez
Disaster Relief Attorney
Legal Aid of Sonoma County
Email

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