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California governor announces 2 weeks paid leave for food industry workers


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Thursday he signed an executive order that will allow two weeks of supplemental paid leave for essential workers in the food industries.

Newsom said the order covers food service employees who have been impacted by the coronavirus.

“People that grow our food, people that pick our food, people that pack our food, deliver, cook serve and sell our food,” Newsom said.

Workers who have tested positive for COVID-19, or been exposed to the virus or told they must self-quarantine or isolate because of it, will be able to receive the two weeks of supplemental paid sick leave.

Newsom said he hopes the sick pay will ease workers’ anxiety about having to stay home if they contract the virus.

“We don’t want you going to work if you’re sick,” Newsom said. “We want to make sure that you know that if you’re sick it’s okay to acknowledge it, and it’s okay to let your employer know and still know that you’re going to get a supplemental paycheck for a minimum of two weeks.”

California’s food supply workers remain on the frontlines of the state’s response to the coronavirus.

Hundreds of thousands still go to work while the state remains under an indefinite stay at home order. Union leaders praising the governor’s latest move.

According to Newsom, 69 people died within the last 24 hours in California due to the virus bringing the total up to 890.

“It’s the public safety, and the safety of all workers in our food chain from the fields to grocery store checkout stands that are of critical importance,” John Grant said.

Newsom’s executive order also ramps up the state’s health and safety standards to require food service workers to wash their hands every 30 minutes or as needed to sanitize amid the pandemic.

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