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Assemblymembers Rivas and Garcia Applaud COVID-19 Sick Leave Expansion for Food Industry Workers, Including Farmworkers

For immediate release:

Supplemental Hazard Pay Should Be The Next Step, Say Assemblymembers

SACRAMENTO, April 16, 2020 - Assemblymembers Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) and Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) today applauded Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order extending two weeks of supplemental paid sick leave to essential workers in the food industry, including farmworkers. A two-week paid sick leave expansion is a central component of Rivas and Garcia’s “California Farmworker COVID-19 Relief Package.”


“Expanded paid sick leave is a critical part of the farmworker relief package that Assemblymember Garcia and I recently introduced in the State Assembly,” said Rivas. “I applaud Governor Newsom for acting quickly to make this proposal a reality for all the essential food industry workers helping keep us fed during this pandemic. Now we must take additional steps to protect vulnerable workers, including providing supplemental hazard pay - funded by the state or federal government - to cover increased health and childcare costs.”


Assemblymember Garcia said, “Our communities commend Governor Newsom for rising to our calls for action and for his active commitment to filling critical coverage gaps in our existing coronavirus relief systems. Expanding protections to essential workers, like our farmworkers, who stand on the front lines of this crisis, is the only way we can secure our nation’s food supply chain and keep food on our tables. This week, we have made considerable progress in addressing these concerns, but many steps still lie ahead of us. California must continue to lead. My colleague, Assemblymember Rivas, and I are exploring solutions to meet these urgent needs.”

The five-bill "California Farmworker COVID-19 Relief Package" proposes to expand paid sick leave for farmworkers, provide supplemental hazard pay, fund an outreach campaign to educate workers on personal protection practices, and help expedite temporary housing to mitigate overcrowding and allow for social distancing. It also includes a tax credit for farmers who offer overtime work to their workers.