COVID-19 Update for CASE Members

Dear member of Bargaining Unit 2:


Last night, Governor Newsom announced that the entire State of California is now under a shelter-in-place order. This clearly means that all members of Unit 2 are now expected to work from home unless they are needed at the workplace to perform or support essential critical infrastructure and government functions. During the press conference announcing the order, Governor Newsom made clear that he wants as many State workers as possible teleworking. Links to the Governor’s order and the directive outlining the broad essential critical infrastructure categories are below:


https://covid19.ca.gov/img/Executive-Order-N-33-20.pdf

https://www.cisa.gov/identifying-critical-infrastructure-during-covid-19


As we indicated in our March 15, 2020 email, all State departments are empowered to implement emergency telework programs and are expected to have as many employees as possible telework. Even if you are working in an area considered essential critical infrastructure, if you are able to work from home, your written request and plan to telework should not be denied. The governor’s order further supports CASE’s position that the only legal professionals who should be denied telework are those where there is a specific, clearly articulable, compelling reason for being in the office.


Many departments have implemented emergency telework programs. Some are applied broadly with the goal of limiting the number of staff in the workplace. However, some departments have been only reluctantly implementing telework or burdening their plans with a great many needless bureaucratic requirements. Others have delayed implementing telework because of technical limitations such as a shortage of licenses for remote access. We are told that all departments should be able to resolve those issues very quickly under the emergency declarations and, until remote access is expanded, those departments should be creative and flexible in finding ways for employees to telework. We have heard from many of you about these issues and are pushing those departments to comply with the prior State guidelines. We will now include the Governor’s clear directive as part of those efforts.


Other members may be facing issues related to being over age 65 or part of another high risk category, becoming ill, caring for a family member, or childcare issues. If you need leave, you may qualify for some Paid Administrative Time Off (ATO). Please check with your department to see if you qualify for ATO.


If you are a Voting Member and have not already contacted CASE about an issue related to COVID-19, please email us at info@calattorneys.org. We want to assure you that we will fight for your rights and safety. This is completely new territory and the CASE staff team is small and also working from home so we ask for your patience as we all work together to get through this crisis.


This email may not reach all CASE members. Accordingly, CASE encourages you to pass this email along to any of your colleagues who may not have received it. If you are not receiving CASE emails and wish to receive future communications from CASE, please send an email to info@calattorneys.org and request to be added to the distribution list.


CASE also encourages you to send responses from your personal email address as opposed to your state email address. Please keep in mind that all responses will be treated as confidential by CASE.


As always, your support of CASE and your colleagues in Bargaining Unit 2 is greatly appreciated.


Sincerely,

The CASE Board of Directors

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