The State Worker

State workers in fire zones are eligible for paid leave

A mix of state government offices and warehouses are closed across Northern California because of the deadly wildfires sprawling across Sonoma County and the northern Sierra Nevada foothills.

Some sites near the fires were closed, such as DMV offices in Fairfield, Lakeport and Napa. The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration has also closed its Fairfield and Santa Rosa offices.

Other sites farther from the fire lines sent employees home because of dangerous working conditions.

A Caltrans warehouse at 1900 Royal Oaks Drive in Sacramento, for instance, shut down on Wednesday because employees were exposed to wildfire-related smoke, according to messages distributed by the union that represents Caltrans workers.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s declaration of a state of emergency this week triggered a process that allows state employees to take five to 30 paid days off of work if their offices are closed, if they can’t safely travel to work, if they’re called up as a volunteer for a disaster-relief effort or if they’re applying for federal emergency assistance.

State employees who live or work in Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sonoma, and Yuba are eligible for the paid administrative leave, according to memos from the state human resources department. Employees must receive approval from their departments before taking the so-called “administrative time off.”

Adam Ashton: 916-321-1063, @Adam_Ashton. Sign up for state worker news alerts at