Ventura County Officials Answer Questions About COVID-19 Employment Impact

By George Miller

We asked Ms. Jennie Pittman of the Ventura County Office of Human Services about the impact of COVID-19 lockdown layoffs in the county and received this thoughtful response from Ms. Marleen Canniff, MPA, Communications Manager, Human Services Agency, Office of Strategy Management:

Hello Mr. Miller,

In response to your inquiry, this email provides some insights from the Ventura County Human Services Agency on the economic and social impacts of COVID-19 and efforts to mitigate its effects.

To start, our agency has been working to meet the needs of all those who are eligible for our services by state and federal standards. To date, our CalFresh food assistance program is serving 68,674 individuals in Ventura County, an increase of 4,927 clients (8%) since March 1, 2020. Likewise, we’ve seen a 3% increase in CalWORKs participants, up 292 clients in the same period. We are also referring employers and job seekers to CalJOBs, an online resource, where they can access a complete set of employment tools through the Ventura Portal for America’s Job Center of California at venturacountyajcc.org. This Virtual One-Stop helps employers meet their workforce needs, access resources regarding the labor market, and link to a variety of resources and information. It also helps job seekers find employment opportunities, connect with training, and uncover many resources and assistance programs to aid in their search for work as well as through the loss of a job.

Additionally, our agency has pulled together a COVID-19 Resource List with more than 100 helpful resources in English and Spanish that can be accessed remotely. This list includes links to basic needs services, finding food pantries and free meal services, locating daycare centers open for essential workers, how to cope with anxiety, ways to help, online educational programs, and many other activities and resources available to you whether you are staying home or performing duties as an essential worker through this pandemic.

The following information addresses each of your questions specifically:

  • What kinds of businesses are covered by WARN requirements? Are government agencies covered? Are independentcontractors and temporary workers covered?

Attached is a U.S. Department of Labor WARN fact sheet and guide to advanced notice of closings and layoffs: WARN_Fact_Sheet_updated_03.06.2019 Below are some excerpts to help answer your question and links for additional information.

General Provisions

WARN offers protection to workers, their families and communities by requiring employers to provide notice 60 days in advance of covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs. This notice must be provided to either affected workers or their representatives (e.g., a labor union); to the State dislocated worker unit; and to the appropriate unit of local government.

While Executive Order N-31-20 temporarily suspends the 60-day notice requirement, guidance from the Employment Development Department (EDD) states that covered employers should continue to file a WARN even if they cannot meet the 60-day timeframe due to COVID-19.

Employer Coverage

In general, employers are covered by WARN if they have 100 or more employees, not counting employees who have worked less than 6 months in the last 12 months and not counting employees who work an average of less than 20 hours a week. Private, for-profit employers and private, nonprofit employers are covered, as are public and quasi-public entities which operate in a commercial context and are separately organized from the regular government. Regular Federal, State, and local government entities which provide public services are not covered.

Regarding coverage for independent contractors and temporary workers in California, employees who have worked at least 6 months of the 12 months preceding the date on which a WARN notice is required are counted in determining if there is a mass layoff during any 30-day period of 50 or more employees at a covered establishment. Source: California Labor Code, Section 1400(d)&(h)

For a side-by-side chart of the general parameters, you can link to EDD WARN General Provisions of the Federal and California WARN Laws:https://edd.ca.gov/jobs_and_Training/Layoff_Services_WARN.htm#GeneralProvisionsoftheFederalandCaliforniaWARNLaws

  • How many WARN notices have we received regarding COVID-related closures to date, and are there more in the pipeline to our knowledge?

We have received 93 WARN notices from March 1, 2020, to April 30, 2020. This includes 10 permanent layoffs; 63 temporary layoffs; 15 temporary closures, and 5 layoffs not identified.

Regarding any more in the pipeline, more WARN notices are expected to be issued this month based on preliminary, unofficial information received.

  • Who is the best point of contact at the Economic Development Collaborative for speaking with Mr. Miller about unemployment projections beyond official data published by EDD?

Bruce Stenslie, President Economic Development Collaborative, would be a great contact at the EDC. In a recent VC STAR article, he reported that “Over a four-week period from mid-March through the second week of April, the number of new claims totaled 56,322 claims or an average of 14,000 per week. The figures are based on data that the Economic Development Collaborative provided to The Star, which Stenslie said came from the EDD’s data.” Mr. Stenslie can be reached at [email protected] or (805) 409-9155.

Please let us know if there is further information we can contribute for your follow-up article.

Hello.  I would also add that businesses and workers affected by COVID are encouraged to visit the County’s web site at https://www.vcemergency.com/business  for business recovery updates, information about state and federal assistance programs, and resource guides.

… and yes, it is a good point that the county’s unemployment was better than the state average!

Thank you and stay well,

Marleen Canniff, MPA

Communications Manager

Human Services Agency

Office of Strategy Management

855 Partridge Drive

Ventura, CA 93003

805-289-8214 | www.vchsa.org

 

Previous article:

VC Layoffs Continue Unabated

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By George Miller The “lockdown” approach to combating the COVID-19 Chinese virus is having catastrophic effects on the economy and particularly company operations and unemployment. Congress has appropriated not millions, or billions, but TRILLION$$$ of dollars for various bailout schemes and the Federal Reserve even more, via actions of questionable legality. This creates an enormous increase […]


George Miller is Publisher/Co-Founder of CitizensJournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard.Get Citizensjournal.us Headlines free  SUBSCRIPTION. Keep us publishing – DONATE

One Response to Ventura County Officials Answer Questions About COVID-19 Employment Impact

  1. ExCaliExpat May 5, 2020 at 2:09 am

    It is becoming apparent that the Democrat controlled localities and their residents have become collateral damage, in their attempts to discredit President Trump.

    Truly disturbing, and we should be paying attention to this as we head to the polls this November.

    Reply

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