• Coronavirus

Employee Information for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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. 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/Home.do

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.

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Live Webinar Schedule

Coronavirus: Life in Today’s Uncertain Times – March 19, 2020, 11AM (PST)

Coronavirus: Conquering Fear and Anxiety – March 24, 2020, 11AM (PST)

Coronavirus: Thinking Traps – March 26, 2020, 11AM (PST)


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

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

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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

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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    Employee Leave Information

    TimesaverThe County is currently under a “shelter in place” order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We understand the complexity this adds to employees’ lives, including school closures, childcare issues, income and general health concerns. Additionally, during this public health emergency, the County still has a duty to continue to provide essential services to the public and support emergency operations. To balance the needs of the County and its workers, we have developed the attached matrix of work scenarios outlining how employees will be paid under various scenarios. As the COVID-19 emergency is fluid, there may be other situations that have not been addressed. Please contact your department if you have questions about your specific situation. The matrix/scenario information below supplements and updates the information previously provided to employees.

    COVID-19 Employee TimeCard Situation Coding Matrix Information: Effective Dates: 3/15/2020-4/3/2020 (PDF: 426 kB)

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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

    connection-drawing-thumbnail120
    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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    Disaster Leave, Local Assistance Center, Benefit Information, and more!