The State Worker

Wildfires, state of emergency trigger state leave rule

A back fire burns as seen thru a window at The Oasis bar in Lake County on Sunday, August 2, 2015.
A back fire burns as seen thru a window at The Oasis bar in Lake County on Sunday, August 2, 2015. hamezcua@sacbee.com

California state employees affected by wildfires burning in 15 counties under a state of emergency are eligible for up to five days of administrative time off if their situations merit it and their employers approve, according to a statewide government memo issued Friday.

Employers can authorize the paid leave if, for example, an employee works or resides in a county were the fires have forced their place of business to temporarily close or if reasonable routes between the employee’s home and work have been cut off.

The regulation governing emergency leave also allows time off if a state employee needs leave to apply for federal recovery assistance or to perform duties as a member of a “formal, organized effort to protect the health and safety of the general public,” such as an auxiliary fire department or police force.

The Department of Human Resources reminded state personnel offices statewide of the time-off rules last week when Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for the counties of Butte, El Dorado, Humboldt, Lake, Madera, Napa, Nevada, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, Shasta, Solano, Tulare, Tuolumne, and Yolo.

Nearly two dozen wildfires are burning statewide, including the 60,000-acre Rocky fire near Clear Lake that has forced 12,000 people to evacuate their homes.

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