August 24, 2020
AFSCME Local 685 Joins Coalition of County Unions in Lawsuit to Block Illegal Ballot Measure to Shift 10% of Budget to Non-Union Community Organizations
Click here to read the lawsuit.

"On August 5, the Coalition of County Unions (CCU), representing Los Angeles County civil servants, filed a lawsuit against county officials in order to block voters from considering the “Reimagine LA” ballot measure slated for November 3. The charter amendment has been advocated for by activists and was approved for the election by the Board of Supervisors on August 4." Click here to read full story.

The ballot measure, which is now known as Measure J, is opposed by the 800,000-member Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.
You Have More Overtime Money Coming
Attorney Jacob Kalinski, one of the lawyers with the law firm Rains Lucia Stern St. Phalle and Silver that is representing County employees in the FLSA lawsuit representing has forwarded Local 685 members this thank you letter and update concerning the payout of funds from the settlement with the County. 

“We at Rains Lucia Stern St. Phalle and Silver wish to thank you for having the courage to sign up with us. Due to your involvement and the combined efforts of the many County unions who assisted with the lawsuit, the County will have paid approximately $26.6 million to County employees for unpaid overtime.

“Thank you also for the patience to see this process to the end. I know it has been difficult waiting years for the County to fully compensate you for its FLSA violations. This delay was caused by the County’s refusal to cooperate with us and the unions in a timely manner to reach an efficient resolution. 

“The County’s recalcitrance continues. We have repeatedly requested that the County send the settlement payments directly to you on or before the August 11, 2020, due date set by the Court. However, in a final act of defiance, the County refused to send the payments directly to you. Instead, late yesterday, it delivered several thousand checks to our office. 

“This will create a short delay, because we must now take inventory of the checks and process them for mailing. Rest assured that we will send them to you as soon as possible. Should you have any questions regarding the foregoing, please email them to Charity Graham of my firm at”
Deployment Stories
Member 1

My deployment experience continues to be a horrible one. Staff taking their masks off when they get to the unit or half wear their masks, and staff who literally say they will not wear a mask! I worked with a staff who would constantly take it off... Then I got a call saying this staff tested positive, so I had to quarantine. Luckily, I was negative BUT my director wanted me to return to work before I even got my results back. How does this make sense? 

Member 2

I have been hearing that many field POs are physically and mentally tired from constant shift changes of weekly deployment ‘shifts.’ Changes from the AM shift, to PM shift and EM shift, and even different facilities. Even though I'm enduring it, I've been to CGR, Sylmar, CVK at both Challenger and Malibu, and am now at CJH. I could cope with this better if the department had me on consistent AM, PM, or EM shifts instead of constantly changing shifts.

Member 3

One deputy told me that he started getting headaches, which persistently got worst over a span of a few days. His wife encouraged him to get a COVID test, and within two days it came back positive. During that time, he started developing additional symptoms: fever, nausea, couldn’t breathe well, so his wife took him to the emergency room. They then sent him home but the treatment they suggested did not help.

By the next day, he had to return to the ER. He spent a week in the hospital because he had developed pneumonia, sepsis (blood poisoning), and one of my heart ventricles was swollen. These very serious symptoms progressed very quickly, and it was really scary. No one else in his family developed COVID.
This officer said, “As I lay in the hospital, I thought about the fact that there were not many masks available. The department would give you “one.” Many times, I saw the supervisors buying them for the staff, or staff would buy them for themselves. Then I noticed, when I moved from one room to another in the hospital perhaps for test or some type of treatment, they had a cleaning crew that cleaned whatever I touched. When I thought about work, I realized that the cleaning and sanitizing in the workplace was very inadequate, which was probably reason I developed COVID in the first place. 

"The department should certainly develop a more sophisticated cleaning methodology,” continued the officer. “I then called our union, Local 685, to explain to them what I had been through. The Union explained my rights under the circumstances and told me to read about the Senate Bill 1159, which would define “injury” for an employee to include illness or death resulting from the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) under specified circumstances, until January 1, 2024 and it defined what rights I have as a First Responder.” 

The letter below is a copy generally sent out to a staff member from one of our Bureau Chiefs if there is an indication that the staff member had been exposed to COVID-19 by another staff member. This letter is dated August 18, 2020. It indicates the staff may have been exposed on August 11, 2020. 
So why did the department wait until August 18 to notify other staff members they knew may have been exposed? This facility knew of staff testing positive as early as August 7. They knew several more staff tested positive between August 8 and August 11 and then knew that 3 juveniles were positive on August 14, 2020. 

One staff member said, “I personally notified the Camp on August 10, 2020, that I tested positive. The Camp was put on quarantine on August 9, which means the department was already aware there was contamination in the facility. From what I was told, by the time this staff received this notice, they had already gone back into their area offices and to another deployment at Central Juvenile Hall. This means that they possibly exposed even more staff members in two other facilities.”

Why would the department wait until August 18, 2020, to share this important information to other staff members???
What was your Deployment Experience? Please send me short story of what took place—Cookie Lommel,
How Does the COVID Packet Work For You?
With so many questions about COVID leave and related issues, the Local 685 Executive Board felt it would be good to talk with Human Resources and restate the conditions and resources related to the COVID Packet and how this can be utilized by staff. We do hope this information will help to answer questions that may pop up at an inconvenient time. 

  1. COVID Paid Leave of up to 80 hours for qualified, approved COVID-related reasons, including full pay for illness, quarantine, and 2/3 pay for reasons including care for another (parent child, etc.), and childcare needs. 
  2. COVID Leave, which provides approved employees with COVID-related childcare needs for up to 12 weeks (two weeks unpaid, and ten weeks with two thirds pay).

Important: These leaves are not automatic and require Chief Leyva’s approval. The decision to grant or deny a leave will be based on departmental staffing requirements and individual needs. 
Eligible employees should complete “Packet B.” Click here to download the forms.

If applying, please review carefully and respond to all questions completely. If the reason is related to care of family member or childcare, please clarify the reason(s) that there are no other available options/adults who can assist, such as non-first responder family members, daycare, etc.

After the form is completed in full, please send it to the following address for review and consideration:

Please copy your supervisor to allow tracking by each Bureau.
Once approved, an email will be sent to confirm and provide specific timekeeping codes for the specific type of COVID 19 leave. More information related to COVID leave can be found on DHR COVID website.

If someone is exposed in the workplace (close contact, quarantine, etc.), they are eligible for Workers Compensation benefits, but Must complete the application for COVID leave first and exhaust the available 80 hours of COVID paid leave before any temporary disability benefits or benefits under Labor Code Section 4850 are received.
The following are some common questions we are seeing/being asked:

If I test negative after being placed on quarantine for close contact with a person who is positive for COVID-19, can I return to work immediately?

  • NO! Per the Department of Public Health, it can take up to 14 days from time of exposure for you to test positive for COVID-19. You must quarantine for the full 14 days from date of exposure, even if you received a negative test anytime within the 14-day period. 

I was instructed to quarantine more than once due to exposure to COVID-19. Can I receive more than 80 hours of COVID leave?

  • Unfortunately, COVID leave is limited to 80 hours. If telework is not available and you must quarantine a second time, you can utilize your accrued benefit time during the second quarantine period. If the exposure was workplace-related, you may be eligible for Worker’s Compensation benefits.
Legislation to Require Disclosure of COVID-19 Exposure in Workplaces Supported by Committee 
CA Assembly Bill 685 (AB685), authored by Assembly Member Eloise Gomez Reyes, requires that workplaces in California provide a 24-hour notice to all employees – and to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, and the State Department of Public Health – if any worker has been exposed to COVID-19. AB685, which is sponsored by the California Labor Federation and the United Food and Commercial Workers, passed out of the Senate Labor and Employment Committee. Employers could be fined up to $10,000 for failure to notify employees within 24 hours and failure to provide no notification is a misdemeanor.

California’s essential workers deserve to know when their workplace has been exposed to COVID-19 so that we and our employers can take the necessary steps to mitigate the spread. This notice will give employees accurate information about potential workplace exposure and ensure that employers create a safe and protective workplace. 
“To re-open California safely we must provide workers the accurate information they need to protect their families and give enforcement agencies the thorough data they need to keep workplaces safe and minimize the spread of COVID-19 in California,” explained Assembly Member Eloise Gomez Reyes.

Recent media reports have demonstrated that some employers have been either hesitant or not disclosed to employees or state authorities when workers tested positive for COVID-19 and came in contact with other staff at the workplace. Compliance with existing public health orders designed to keep workers and the public safe has been lax in various parts of California, which puts entire communities at risk. 
General Membership & Stewards Meetings Canceled for September

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and orders from local, state, and federal officials, the Local 685 General Membership and Stewards Meetings are canceled for the month of September 2020. 

Please stay safe and healthy in these difficult times!
COVID-19 Resources

This page is a resource for Local 685 members to have access to official County/Department forms and memos from the County regarding COVID-19's impact on County operations and County employees. Please check here routinely for the latest update from the County and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).