State Employees Affected by Wildfires May Qualify for Paid Administrative Leave

Some California State employees may qualify for administrative time off due to wildfires due to an emergency order enacted by Governor Gavin Newson.

The Sacramento Bee reported on Aug. 21 that certain California State workers affected by wildfires may be eligible to take as many as five days of paid leave initially, while a maximum of 30 days of extended paid leave can be granted with prior approval of their respective departments.

These permissions align with the State’s regulations for administrative time off during a state of emergency, which are – in part – as follows:

  • Employees may be granted a paid leave of absence of up to five days by their appointing power when the employee works or resides in a county where a state of emergency has been proclaimed by the Governor and the appointing power determines that at least one of the following conditions exist:
    • The employee's normal place of business is closed temporarily, during the employee's normal work shift, due to the effects of the emergency.
    • The emergency effectively precludes the employee's ability to find reasonable routes of transportation from the employee's normal residence to the work place.
    • The emergency presents an immediate and grave peril to the employee's own safety, that of an employee's immediate family member, or the employee's principal residence.
    • The employee is actively involved in a formal, organized effort to protect the health and safety of the general public; such as, the employee is a member of the auxiliary fire or police department or the employee is asked by local authorities to assist with sandbagging efforts.
    • The employee needs to take time off to apply for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) because the employee is unable to apply for assistance before or after the employee's normal work shift.

For the full version of the state’s policy on administrative paid leave during a state of emergency, please read more here.

Do You Need to Fight for Your Leave?

Although some of the largest wildfires currently burning in California are far from containment, wildfire season in the state is usually expected to last through the fall. That means there is a risk that State employees may need to use their emergency administrative leave at a future time.

If you need to take legal action to protect your right to take leave during this time, consider reaching out to Haeggquist & Eck, LLP for legal assistance. We are a firm of employment rights attorneys who are on the side of workers who need to hold their employers accountable.

Should you need to seek fair and just compensation for leave you should have been afforded by your State employer during this time, please reach out to us to schedule a free initial consultation. During this meeting, we can learn more about your concerns and offers options for how you can proceed with taking legal action.

Learn more and schedule your free initial consultation by calling Haeggquist & Eck, LLP at (619) 468-5222 or by filling out our online contact form.