• Coronavirus

Employee Information for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Information about the Sonoma County Covid-19 Screening App

  • Information and Instructions
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The County’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides free, confidential counseling and other life services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to all County of Sonoma employees and their family members. https://www.achievesolutions.net/achievesolutions/en/sonoma/Home.do

myStrength Covid-19 and Mental Health Resources

Attention With Hand Holding Up One Finger-75

Register for free membership from May 1, 2020 until September 30, 2020. You must register no later than August 31, 2020.

Webinars, Articles, Other Resources

Our EAP provider, Beacon Health Options/ValueOptions, has posted links to webinars to help employees navigate the fear, anxiety, and uncertainty that an event like the Coronavirus pandemic can create. Webinars, articles, and other resources specific to Coronavirus can be accessed online at: https://www.achievesolutions.net/achievesolutions/en/sonoma/Content.do?contentId=51300

To register for a live webinar, visit: https://clientresources.beaconhealthoptions.com/eap-workshops/

The webinars will be recorded and posted to the EAP website the day after the webinar so you can access them at your convenience.

Webinars Available

  • Coronavirus: Living in Uncertain Times
  • Coronavirus: Conquering Fear and Anxiety 
  • Coronavirus: Thinking Traps
  • Coronavirus: How to Keep Children Healthy and Happy

For more information about the Employee Assistance Program, please visit: sonomacounty.ca.gov/HR/Benefits/Employee-Assistance-Program/

To access EAP counseling or other life services by phone, call: 866-484-4961

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Employee Benefits Information

Sutter Health Plus Member Information

Sutter Health remains committed to the health and safety of our communities. If you're concerned you may have COVID-19, please call your doctor or healthcare provider before visiting a care facility. If you are having a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. For up to date COVID-19 information, please visit our Sutter Health Plus website: https://sutterhealthplus.org/

At the direction of the Department of Managed Health Care All Plan Letter, Sutter Health Plus covers medically necessary COVID-19 screening and testing at zero cost to members. We consider services medically necessary if you experience symptoms and meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria for screening or testing. We also defer to the clinical judgment of the treating provider to determine medical necessity. We encourage members to schedule video or telephonic visits to help minimize spread of infection and ease pressure on provider offices, urgent care centers and emergency rooms.

In addition, Sutter is offering designated respiratory sites for patients who need to be evaluated by a clinician to see if they meet the criteria for the COVID-19 test. Per CDC guidelines, Sutter needs to preserve test supplies for high-risk patients with certain pre-existing conditions or social risks, so this service is available only to patients with symptoms who have a referral from a Sutter-affiliated clinician. If you feel ill, please schedule a video visit or call our our COVID-19 advice line at (866) 961-2889 to receive guidance on whether you need to go to a site to be further evaluated. Patients must present identification at the testing site to confirm their appointment. If patients meet the criteria for testing, a specimen will be collected and sent to a lab for analysis. If the result is positive, your clinician will ensure you receive appropriate care.

For Same Day Access to Care Options, Sutter Health Plus members have access to the following:

  • Nurse Advice Line (855) 836-3500, at no cost
  • Video visits at the same cost share as a PCP visit
  • Sutter Walk-In Care at the same cost share as a PCP visit (placing a call to the Walk-In Care location is encouraged, as some sites are dedicated to video visits only - at this time, Petaluma is closed to in-person appointments and is video appointments only)
  • Urgent and Emergency Care at the applicable copayment, unless to screen/test for COVID-19
  • Calling or emailing your Sutter Health Plus Primary Care Physician - call your PCP at the number listed on your Sutter Health Plus ID card

Prescription medications continue to be available at all of our contract pharmacies - many have drive-thru options or are open extended hours and some might even offer home delivery. In addition to mail-order that allows up to a 100-day supply for two times the monthly copayment, some network pharmacies participate in Smart90 that allows you to get a 90-day supply for 3 times the monthly copayment.

Kaiser Permanente Member Information

The spread of the coronavirus is touching lives across the country. As we fight this pandemic, we're prepared to test patients for COVID-19 if they meet the guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and your local public health agency. Testing isn't recommended for people with mild or moderate symptoms.

One important exception to this policy is for first responders and health care workers if they have the following symptoms - cough, fever, or respiratory illness. This includes police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and Emergency Medical Technicians who are vital for providing public safety and direct medical care in our communities. Both groups should contact their physician first for guidance and identify themselves as a health care worker or first responder before presenting at a medical facility. Their physician will give them an order to take to a testing site.

Rest assured that if it's medically necessary for any employees to be tested, they will be tested. And Kaiser Permanente members will never have to pay for costs related to COVID-19 screening or testing. Click here for information on Kaiser Permanente and COVID-19.

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Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Dependent Care Assistance (DCAP) Changes

Deadline to Submit 2019 FSA Claims Extended

The deadline to submit 2019 FSA claims has been extended to April 30, 2020. If you need assistance submitting a claim, please contact the P&A Group at (800) 688-2611, Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. PST or online at www.padmin.com.

DCAP Eligible Mid-Year Change

If your daycare has suspended their operations due to the shelter in place order and you need to make a mid-year change to your DCAP annual election amount, you have 31 days from the date your daycare ceased operations to make this change. You will need to complete the FSA Mid-Year Change in Election Form and return it to the Benefits Unit. Changes will be effective the first of the month following the date the benefits Unit receives your completed form. This only applies to DCAP. This is not an allowable event to make a change to your FSA.

Completed forms can be returned to the Benefits Unit by:

  • Scanning and emailing to benefits@sonoma-county.org.
  • Faxing to (707) 565-1139.
  • Placing in the locked tan drop box, labeled Personnel Applications Only, located outside the north side of 575 Administration Drive in Santa Rosa.

FSA Mid-Year Change in Election Form (PDF: 241 kB)

For more information about these changes, please visit the Benefits Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) page:

http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/HR/Benefits/Flexible-Spending-Account/

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Employee Safety and Health

For more information about Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how best to protect yourself, visit the SoCo Emergency Coronavirus website and the Sonoma County Department of Health Services website.

For support related to employee safety and health issues, please contact the Safety Unit at: safetyandhealth@sonoma-county.org

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Kaiser Occupational Health

Kaiser Occupational Health

Injured Workers: Employees with non-urgent injuries are to call Kaiser Occupational Health at 707-566-5555 to schedule an appointment. The medical appointment will be conducted by phone with the treating doctor, and any testing or follow up care will be issued by the doctor. As always, employees should be taken to Kaiser Emergency Room for serious/urgent injuries, and for urgent injuries after business hours.

Pre-Employment Testing: Kaiser Occupational Health is not providing pre-employment medical testing services at this time; however, the County can petition for an exception for safety critical positions. Agility testing is still available. HR Liaisons are to call or email their HR-Disability Management Analyst for guidance on pre-employment testing, including filing an exception request for medical testing, and waiving test requirements.

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Employee Trainings

All in-person classes are cancelled through April 3, 2020, with many rescheduled to May or June dates. Sonoma Higher Ed, the County’s Learning Management System (LMS), will continue to offer online training opportunities to employees.

sonoma higher edSonoma higher ed is a cloud-based system that can be accessed from any computer. County staff members can easily launch each course themselves or a course or courses can be assigned to a specific group by an LMS Administrator.

For more information about sonoma higher ed: http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/HR/Employee-Resources/sonoma-higher-ed/

Select one of the following links to access sonoma higher ed from any internet-connected device. You will need your network login credentials to access the system.

Instructions for sonoma higher ed (PDF: 295 kB)

Coronavirus

New general information topics relevant to the Coronavirus pandemic are available online through sonoma higher ed. These LMS courses are direct links to informational videos provided by the indicated authoring agency. They are not comprehensive training modules and are intended to provide information only.

Topics currently available include:

  • What Should You Do If You Get the Flu (CDC)
  • What You Need to Know About Hand Washing (CDC)
  • Live Hand Washing Presentation (CDC)
  • Happy Hand Washing Song (CDC)
  • Cover Your Coughs and Sneezes (CDC)
  • COVID-19: Stop the Spread of Germs - Silent (CDC)
  • Clean Hands Help Prevent the Flu (CDC)
  • Disposable Glove Removal Safety (UCLA-EHS)
  • The Right Way to Cover Your Cough (Hamilton Healthcare)
  • COVID-19: What Older Adults Need to Know (CDC)
  • COVID-19: CDC Briefing Room 3/9/2020 (CDC)
  • COVID-19: How Does the Coronavirus Spread? (CDC)
  • COVID-19: How Can I Protect Myself? (CDC)
  • Coronavirus Precautions and Prevention: Common Sense Hygiene
  • Coronavirus Precautions and Prevention: Coronavirus Preparedness
  • Coronavirus Precautions and Prevention: Stay Calm, Stay Informed
  • Coronavirus Precautions and Prevention: Travel Safely

Online General Staff and Managerial Covid-19-Related Program Offerings

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HR-Workforce Development has engaged nationally known crisis and resiliency expert, Dr. Beth A. Cohen, to provide two sessions each of two different 90-minute WebEx programs; one designed for general staff and one available only to supervisorial and managerial staff as follows:

  1. FOR ALL STAFF: Navigating Psycho-social Impacts of COVID-19
    • Monday, MAY 11th - Staff Line Program (1:30-3:00 PM)
    • Monday, MAY 18th - Staff Line Program (10:00-11:30 AM)
  2. FOR MANAGERIAL STAFF: Leading Sonoma County Through Crisis and Uncertainty: COVID-19
    • Monday, MAY 11th - Managers Program (10:00-11:30 AM)
    • Monday, MAY 18th - Managers Program (1:30-3:00 PM)

    (NOTE: The Managerial Staff program will only appear in your LMS if you are already a supervisor or a manager.)

    Additional sessions will be scheduled based on the response to these first sessions and interest in additional ones.

Each of these WebEx programs is being offered through sonoma higher ed and will allow for several hundred employees to access the sessions simultaneously. Search for “Navigating psychosocial” in sonoma higher ed.

Instructions for sonoma higher ed (PDF: 295 kB)

(IMPORTANT NOTE: When you register for the class and time that you want for this training, click on the COURSE TITLE instead of the LAUNCH button. To REGISTER for the training, click ENROLL. The class title screen will pop up. EXIT the title screen by clicking the X in the TOP RIGHT CORNER. On the scheduled date and time of the training, click LAUNCH and view the activity. You will find the WebEx LINK on page 2.)

AB 1825 Preventing Harassment, Discrimination & Retaliation in the Workplace

New legislation expands harassment prevention training and requires and requires all County employees to complete this training on a regular basis. Prior to the new legislation, harassment prevention training was required only for managerial, supervisory, and lead-worker employees.

All County employees (including extra-help and interns) are required to take the same two-hour training by the end of 2020 and every two years thereafter. The training is based on AB 1825 requirements and meets the needs of the new legislation. Employees who have already taken AB 1825 training will remain on their two-year cycle.

If you have not taken AB 1825 training within the last two years, you will receive an email to your County email account from sonoma higher ed advising you that you have been assigned to complete the course Preventing Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation in the Workplace.

You can also access the training before it is assigned to you by logging into sonoma higher ed using the instructions above and searching for the training using any key words such as "AB 1825", "harassment", "discrimination", or "retaliation".

We are recommending employees take this opportunity to complete the required AB 1825: Preventing Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation in the Workplace while working remotely.

In addition to the Preventing Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation in the Workplace training, the following are additional online trainings available in sonoma higher ed you may find of interest:

Diversity Micro-Series

Working Well with Everyone
  • 01-What is Diversity
  • 02-The Diversity Continuum
  • 03-The Mistake of Stereotyping
  • 04-The Power of Inclusion
  • 05-Diversity = Greatness
Cross-Cultural Considerations
  • 03-Cultural Intelligence
Defeating Unconscious Bias
  • Defeating Unconscious Bias

Teleworking

New online trainings are now available in sonoma higher ed:

  • Working Remotely
  • Healthy Communication 05: Communicating with Your Remote Team

Office Ergonomics

A new office ergonomics training titled SAFETY - Office Ergonomics for California is now available in sonoma higher ed. We have all felt aches and pains from bad posture, repetitive work, and sitting or standing in one position for extended periods. Working in an office can take a toll on your muscles, but proper ergonomics can make you more comfortable and efficient. The goal of this course is to assist you in evaluating and modifying your office work environment to reduce ergonomic risk. Ideal learners are office workers or anyone who works at a desk.

Additional topics are being reviewed and will be added soon.

For support with using sonoma higher ed, please contact the 'ed support team at: sonoma.higher.ed@sonoma-county.org

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Timecard Coding

The following document provides instructions for completing your timecard during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Timesaver

COVID-19 Employee Timecard Situation Matrix for Employees NOT Receiving FFCRA Benefits (PDF: 518 kB)

NOTE: If you are receiving FFCRA benefits, use the document below to complete your timecard.

COVID-19 Employee Timecard Situation Matrix for Employees Receiving FFCRA Benefits (PDF: 576 kB)

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Employee Leave Information Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

The County of Sonoma is committed to supporting its employees during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. The documents below outline the County's actions to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on employee pay and benefits, and incorporate the recently passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

The benefits under the FFCRA and other regulations are new, untested, and subject to ongoing adjustment by the Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and may necessitate changes to the County administered program.

EFMLEA

EPSL

FFCRA

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Deferred Compensation Changes Due to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

The County of Sonoma is committed to supporting its employees during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. The information at the link below covers changes to the County's Deferred Compensation Program as a result of the recent passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act contains 3 provisions that modify the County's Deferred Compensation Plans (457/OBRA - Extra Help Plan). These plans are administered by Nationwide. The new provisions are intended to give participating employees additional flexibility, including expanded access to loans, to assist them in the event that they are directly affected by COVID-19 as defined by the CARES Act.

Please note: For participants that want to take out a loan but may not qualify under the CARES Act, the County plan already allows for loans of up to $50,000 or up to 50% of your balance, whichever is less.

Details about the new provisions can be found at: http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/ACTTC/Investment-and-Debt/Deferred-Compensation/#cares

For questions about the new provisions and how to access them or your existing account, please call Nationwide at (866) 242-5048.

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Disaster Service Worker

PPE Gear 95YOU ARE A DISASTER SERVICE WORKER

County and Agency employees are designated under California Government Code Section 3100 (below) as “Disaster Service Workers.” This means any County or Agency employee may be required to return to work for a disaster assignment. Please be aware that the performance of essential government functions, including disaster service work, are exempt from the current Shelter in Place Order.

We would like to remind you of what you might expect over the next few days/weeks/months during this federally declared emergency and ask that you prepare yourself and your family in the event you are called upon to work at a different work location or beyond your regularly scheduled shift.

What is a disaster service worker?

Government Code 3100 provides that all public employees are disaster service workers and may be assigned disaster service activities if necessary.

3100. It is hereby declared that the protection of the health and safety and preservation of the lives and property of the people of the state from the effects of natural, man-made, or war caused emergencies which result in conditions of disaster or in extreme peril to life, property, and resources is of paramount state importance requiring the responsible efforts of public and private agencies and individual citizens. In furtherance of the exercise of the police power of the state in protection of its citizens and resources, all public employees are hereby declared to be disaster service workers subject to such disaster service activities as may be assigned to them by their superiors or by law.

Specific to the current COVID-19 event: The performance of essential government functions, including disaster service work, are exempt from the current Shelter in Place Order. The County is committed to ensure your continued safety and health while you provide these services to the public.  The Human Resources Occupational Safety and Health Team is working with the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) and departments to address safety concerns and ensure necessary personal protective equipment is being supplied. 

I was never told I was a disaster service worker, shouldn’t I have been given something?

All new hires are notified of their disaster service worker status and asked to sign an acknowledgment during the new hire sign-up process.  A copy is stored in the personnel file.  The absence of this document, however, does not relieve the employee of their disaster service worker responsibilities under the law.  Additionally, the responsibility of each County or Agency employee to serve as a disaster service worker is covered during the New Employee Orientation that all employees are to attend at the initiation of their employment. Information regarding your status as disaster service worker is located on your employee ID badge. 

What is my responsibility as a disaster service worker?

  • When the County officially declares an emergency, you should first ensure you and your family are safe.
  • Follow your department’s reporting instructions.
  • Be prepared to be assigned to a disaster service assignment.
  • Understand assignments may require your disaster service work to be at locations, times and conditions other than your normal work assignment.

Why me?

All County and Agency employees may be utilized for disaster service worker assignments.  Departments and County Human Resources prioritize contacting employees who meet the criteria for given assignments first.

What kind of duties might I be asked to perform as a disaster service worker?

In most cases, your department, EOC, or County Human Resources will provide you with a general assignment based on the needs during the declared emergency. Examples of general job category duties you may be asked to perform include: answering telephones, ordering/delivering food or supplies, managing volunteers, staffing a hotline, developing information or communications, food handling, maintenance tasks, running messages, tracking information in the EOC, helping in a warehouse, shelter or food bank, language interpretation, or other tasks as needed.

How will I know what to do?

When you are assigned a shift you will be given a point of contact for your assignment.  When you start your shift (either in person or remotely), you need check in with your point of contact.  They will orient you and provide any necessary training, supplies, or equipment, including personal protective equipment if applicable. 

Are there any acceptable reasons an employee can decline the disaster service worker assignment? 

There may be reasons that prevent an employee from performing disaster service worker, or reporting for specific types of disaster service worker shifts.  If you currently, or at any time in the future, feel you are unable to perform disaster service work, you need to notify your supervisor/department management immediately.  Your supervisor/department management will let you know if your specific situation is acceptable to release you from either some or all types of disaster service work and inform County Human Resources as to your availability/lack of availability. 

If you are contacted for a disaster service worker assignment by either your department, EOC, or County Human Resources, the expectation is that you will accept and report for the shift.  If you refuse or state you are unavailable for a disaster service worker shift without having already spoken with your supervisor/department management as to the reason why you are unavailable for work, disciplinary action may be taken. 

Employees currently on an approved leave of absence (excluding DPNW) are not expected to perform disaster service work.

Will I get paid for the hours I work as a disaster service worker? 

Disaster service work is considered regular work.  You will be paid in accordance with the applicable MOU or Salary Resolution, and at your regular rate for hours worked.  Any overtime or other special pay would apply per your applicable MOU or Salary Resolution.

Will I get paid for the travel time to and from the assignment?

Reimbursement for mileage and travel time would apply per the applicable MOU or Salary Resolution and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Typically, this will be for travel time and mileage that exceed your travel time to your regularly assigned reporting location.  You can check with your payroll clerk for specific details. 

Should you have further questions about your roles and responsibilities as a disaster service worker please contact your supervisor/department management and they will ensure your questions are addressed by the most appropriate individuals.

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Teleworking Guidelines

Computers Streaming Information

Temporary Telework Guidelines

The County has developed Temporary Telework Guidelines for approving and implementing telework arrangements. County departments may adopt the use of these temporary telework guidelines, or components of it, when crafting a temporary telework program which meets their operational needs during emergency periods.

Temporary Telework Guidelines
Temporary Telework Agreement (PDF: 108 kB)

Temporary Telework Recommendations for Safe Workspace

The Temporary Home Worker Recommendations document provides suggestions for creating a safe and comfortable workspace while teleworking.

Temporary Home Worker Recommendations (PDF: 316 kB)

ISD Knowledge Base Telework Procedures Dashboard

For information and tools for teleworking, review the ISD Knowledge Base Telework Procedures Dashboard. A link to the ISD Knowledge Base can be found on the intranet, or contact your Department Information Systems Specialist for a direct link.

Online Classes Added to sonoma higher ed

New classes are available online through sonoma higher ed related to teleworking.

  • Working Remotely
  • Healthy Communication 05: Communicating with your Remote Team

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Staying Connected

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As a significant portion of the County of Sonoma's workforce transitions to telework assignments, it is important to build virtual communication skills. This article by Mandel Communications provides tips for effective communication when working remotely.

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County Employee Emergency Communication Group on Facebook

The County of Sonoma Human Resources Department created a Facebook page for County employees as an additional way to communicate important information during emergency events. We wanted to create a safe space for employees to communicate with their County family. The group is private and only County employees may join. Follow the instructions below to request to join the group.

  1. Facebook logo-75Use the following link to go to the Facebook Group Page: County of Sonoma Employee Emergency Communication Group
  2. Make sure you are logged in to your Facebook account.
  3. Click + Join Group below the cover photo.
  4. Answer the following membership questions. Note: Answering the membership questions will help us to confirm you are a County employee. Not answering the questions could delay approval into the group.
    • What department do you work for?
    • What is your employee ID number?
  5. Once it is confirmed you are a County employee, your request will be approved to join the group.

If you have any questions about how to join the group, please email Victoria Willard at victoria.willard@sonoma-county.org.

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Contact Information

Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Contact us by Phone
Address
575 Administration Drive
Room 116 B
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.465237, -122.725363
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Employee Fire Assistance

Information and Resources

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Disaster Leave, Local Assistance Center, Benefit Information, and more!