Scroll down for information on Emergency COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave
Farmworkers Deserve Safety and Respect
in Sonoma County
Sonoma County is the front lines of climate change fueled wildfires. Every year, fires grow bigger, more intense, and more destructive. Farmworkers face the brunt of these dangers. Every year, we hear stories of farmworkers picking grapes for the harvest in smoke-filled skies, extreme heat, with flames in view, and even in evacuation zones. Today, farmworkers in Sonoma County bravely make the public call to improve their jobs and lives ahead of the wildfires. We stand in solidarity with them and support their priorities.
We are asking our NBJwJ supporters and allies to join us in supporting these workers by SIGNING THIS PETITION which asks the wine industry and our local elected officials to ensure these 5 PRIORITIES for farmworker safety are met as we face another wildfire season.
Click HERE for a pdf with the 5 SAFETY PRIORITIES - English
Click HERE for a pdf with the 5 SAFETY PRIORITIES - Spanish
Information for Workers, Renters and Immigrant Community Members who are victims of the recent fires
Here are some links to the most recently updated Disaster FAQs from Legal Aid of Sonoma County. These FAQs cover a variety of topics that can assist survivors while they are attempting to navigate the initial stages of the recovery process.
ALERT! Farmworkers Exposed to Dangerous Working Conditions in Fire Zones
NBJwJ, along with Movimiento Cultural de la Unión Indígena, Latinos Unidos de Sonoma County, Graton Day Labor Center / ALMAS, North Bay Organizing Project, Lideres Campesinas of California - Sonoma Chapter, United Farm Workers, Legal Aid of Sonoma County, and the Food Empowerment Project recently sent an open letter to a number of Sonoma County agencies regarding recent reports of farmworkers being sent into fire zones to pick grapes. Here is a portion of the Community Response on Farmworker Protections:
During the first two weeks of the LNU-Complex fires, second and first hand reports brought to our attention the accelerated urgency and compromised safety imposed on workers that harvested grapes in areas impacted by the current wildfires. The Sonoma County Department of Agriculture issued access verification requests to over 300 employers, including vineyard owners and managers, who brought unknown numbers of their workers into wildfire evacuation zones and into zones with unhealthy smoke levels. Why are access verifications being issued without any transparent accountability? How are their employers soliciting feedback and educating them about the risks involved? We are appalled by the lack of consideration for the farm workers’ health and safety, particularly during the current COVID-19 pandemic. For a community already facing disproportionate impacts from COVID-19, working in zones with high particulate matter from wildfire smoke may have serious long-term health implications. Our concerns also extend to the stabilization and recovery efforts beginning to happen now and through full containment and extinguishment of the fires.
The Community Response on Farmworker Protections lists a number of recommendations that, if adopted, would help ensure worker safety.
Download the full English version HERE. Download the full Spanish version HERE
Everything You Need to Access Paid Sick Leave
Who has paid sick leave to care for themselves?
Every Worker in California! Governor Newsom Signs Bill Immediately Ensuring Access to Paid Sick Leave for Every California Employee This went into effect on Sept 19th, 2020 and ALL employees are covered for 80 hours
Who has paid sick leave to care for someone else or paid sick leave if a child's school closes?
Every worker who works in Santa Rosa, and every worker who works in an unincorporated area of Sonoma County
Visit this website for an FAQ & specific details about the Paid Sick Leave Ordinance that we passed in Santa Rosa
Information on our ordinance for the County of Sonoma will be up soon but mirrors the Santa Rosa ordinance for workers in all unincorporated areas of the County
Share our social media graphics below via our Facebook page and Instagram page (@northbayjwj)
Download these resources to ensure you are receiving the paid sick leave you are entitled to:
- Here is an informational flyer for EMPLOYEES that covers your basic rights and how to contact CRLA and Legal Aid for support to obtain your paid sick leave. You do not need approval to take paid sick leave. You just need to tell your employer you are not able to attend work as soon as you are able.
- Aquí hay un volante con más información de Tiempo Pagado de Enfermedad en Español
- Here is a letter to give to your EMPLOYER as backup to ensure you get your paid sick leave immediately. There are statewide, city and county resources available at the bottom for your employer.
Download this chart with additional info HERE .
PAID SICK LEAVE FOR ALL WORKERS!
As a founder of So Co United in Crisis, NBJwJ and the North Bay Labor Council are calling on cities and the County of Sonoma to pass an emergency ordinance that would give workers 80 HOURS PAID SICK LEAVE for any workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Santa Rosa City Council passed our ordinance effective IMMEDIATELY on
Tuesday, July 7th 2020
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance, effective immediately for unincorporated areas of the County, on Tuesday, August 18th 2021
Employers are required to post this information. These hours are in addition to any hours an employee has already accrued. If your employer has already given you COVID-related paid sick leave since March 17th they may count those hours towards your 80 hours.
Download the chart and full information about your rights
Webinar and Resources:
Workers’ Rights: Critical Labor Protections for Immigrant Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The National Immigration Law Center hosted this webinar on April 15, 2020.
- Safety and Health on the Job
- Using Collective Action to Improve Workplace Safety and Health
- Unemployment Insurance
- Paid and Unpaid Time Off from Work
- State/local responses springing up to address gaps left by federal response
- Q&A and Resources
Go here to watch the video, download the powerpoint or read the resources
National Immigrant Law Center COVID Resources for Immigrant Communities
CA Department of Social Services: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants
CA Immigrant Policy Center: COVID-19 Resource Guide for Immigrants in California
Dolores Huerta Foundation: COVID-19 Resource Guide
CA Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance: COVID-19 Resources for Undocumented People
COVID-19 Support for Workers
We hope you are all safe and staying as healthy as possible. It’s a scary time right now but less so if you stay informed and aware. We wanted to let you know that we are staying on top of the impacts COVID-19 is having on workers and we wanted to share some resources and information for anyone that may be impacted or know someone who is. We are working to spread information about Governor Newsom's expansion of unemployment insurance for workers, identify any employers who aren't following the law on paid sick time, and help provide support for undocumented workers who may be losing wages and aren't eligible for unemployment.
Please download this pdf with resources for sharing widely.
In addition, we thank UNITE HERE for sharing the following fact sheets on the Emergency Relief for both workers and businesses. Feel free to download and share:
Emergency Relief Available to Workers
Emergency Relief Available to Businesses
This info will also be posted on our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/nbjwj. Please note that our office will be closed but you can still reach us at 707-293-2863 or [email protected]
Blazing a Trail for the Green New Deal in the North Bay
One of the best ways to ensure the labor standards of the Green New Deal come alive in the North Bay is to:
- Support our local pre-apprenticeship program and construction apprenticeship programs. These FREE schools provide the highest level of training to any construction worker, and provide a direct pathway into a career with $25+ an hour wages, workman's comp protections, access to healthcare, and upward mobility. But...
- 70% of our local construction workers are commuting out of Sonoma County every day because our local elected officials are not asking any of our local developers to be using local workers. So the second best thing you can do is call/email your city council-members and ask that all public projects, retail and commercial, schools, and most importantly affordable housing only be built with a Project Labor Agreement (PLA)!! PLA's are the ONLY way that we can ensure local workers are rebuilding in the North Bay, and are guaranteed livable wages and safety standards. The Pre-Apprenticeship program will soon offer all-female cohorts and Spanish co-horts, because a pathway to the middle class needs to prioritize folks of color, immigrant workers and women who are often exploited by bad developers.
- Check out our report: Apprenticeship Programs are Building Career Opportunities for Women and People of Color. CLICK HERE TO READ THE REPORT