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Thursday, May 28, 2020   WECA Political Update: May 28, 2020

Government Affairs and Merit Shop Advocacy
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The State Legislature continued to hear bills on a variety of topics.

Here are the results on a couple we are tracking.

AB 1107 (Chu) which would have raised unemployment payments by $600 a week and cost business as much as $40 billion over the next ten years - has been significantly amended and now has nothing to do with raising unemployment insurance costs. So, though the vehicle lives on, the substance is dead. The new text of AB 1107 bill relates to sharing emergency proclamations in various languages.

AB 1947 (Kalra) Doubles, from 6 months to one year, the time in which a person who believes that they have been discharged or otherwise discriminated against to file a complaint with the DLSE. Also, AB 1947 overturns the existing balance by prohibiting an employer from recovering its attorney’s fees, which could create an incentive for more potentially frivolous litigation. The Assembly Labor Committee (chaired by Kalra) approved the bill on a party-line vote. (Oppose)

AB 2185 (Patterson) Requires each board within the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to issue a license to any applicant who is the spouse or partner of an active duty member of the Armed Forces if the applicant is licensed in another state. Hearing in Assembly Business & Professions cancelled. (Support)

AB 3075 (Gonzalez) Requires that articles of incorporation include an attestation that the filer is not affiliated with an employer that has an outstanding judgment issued by the DLSE or a court of law for violation of any wage order or provision of the Labor Code. The bill interferes with corporate formation based on unclear and unfair standards and the bill will result in chaotic and inconsistent enforcement of wage and hour laws by local jurisdictions. The Assembly Banking Committee approved the bill on a party-line vote. (Oppose)

AB 3216 (Kalra) New COVID-19 Employment Leave Mandate. Provides for unlimited job protected leave for all employees of employers of any size for family and medical leave due to COVID-19. This new mandate is in addition to numerous COVID-19 leave requirements recently enacted at the federal, state and local levels, and will further burden California employers at a time they can least afford it. The Assembly Labor Committee (chaired by Kalra) approved the bill on a party-line vote. (Oppose)

AB 3279 (Friedman) Revises California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) litigation procedures by (1) reducing the deadline for a court to commence hearings from one year to 270 days, (2) providing that a lead agency may decide whether a plaintiff prepares the administrative record, and (3) authorizing a court to issue an interlocutory remand. AB 3279 addresses common delays in litigation over CEQA actions to promote swifter and more efficient resolution of lawsuits regarding all projects. Labor (State Building and Construction Trades Council), environmental, and environmental justice advocates, typically aligned with CEQA petitioners oppose. The Assembly Natural Resources Committee approved the bill on a bipartisan vote with two Dems, Muratsuchi and Mark Stone voting NO. (Support)

SB 795 (Beall) SB 795 allocates $10 billion over five years to several existing housing, homelessness, and pre-apprenticeship programs, as well as creating two new infrastructure financing programs at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz). It allocates $5 million each year for five years to the California Workforce Development Board for distribution to local agencies to participate in, invest in, or partner with new or existing pre-apprenticeship training programs. The $5 million for pre-apprenticeship training programs must be “established pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 14230 of the Unemployment Insurance Code” that requires that the pre-apprenticeship training in the building and construction trades fund programs and services that follow the Multi-Craft Core Curriculum implemented owned by the State Building trades. So - it would seem that this $5 million a year goes to union pre-apprenticeship programs - more money for unions. Approved by the Senate Housing Committee on a party-line vote. (Oppose unless amended)

SB 1189 (McGuire) this CSLB sponsored bill creates a new residential remodeling license (B-2) that would prohibit a B-2 from “contracting to make structural changes to load bearing portions of an existing structure and from contracting to install, replace, or extend electrical or plumbing systems or their component parts, or the mechanisms or devices that are part of those systems” but would allow them to make “minor alterations to existing electrical or plumbing systems to effectuate the purpose of installing, repairing, or replacing electrical and plumbing fixtures.” WECA opposes this language and is seeking amendments that prohibit the B-2 from doing any electrical work. It was approved by the Senate Business and Professions Committee and now goes to Appropriations. (Oppose unless amended)

Caltrans head says gas tax decline won't be as bad as feared The drop in gas tax revenue for road maintenance and repairs isn't looking as bad as California officials feared at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the head of the state Transportation Department told lawmakers Wednesday. “The projections that we're seeing is the revenue is not going to drop as much as we were originally anticipating,” Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin told lawmakers at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Rules Committee. He said about 25 road projects had been delayed due to the pandemic but that funding isn't an issue. Omishakin said the state is projecting a loss of $1.8 billion over the next five years due to lowered gas tax revenue as people drive less during the pandemic and a statewide stay-at-home order. He said officials had been estimating higher losses based on initial driving declines of about 35 percent on state highways. The University of California, Davis projected earlier this month that revenue fell by $370 million for the first two months of the shutdown. Omishakin said that based on Department of Finance estimates, revenue would fall by about $380 million per year for the next five years. [Politico]

Santa Clara Water takes Steps to Adopt a PLA. At their May 26 meeting the board of the Santa Clara Valley Water District, comprised of seven members, each elected from equally-divided districts of Santa Clara County, voted to proceed with a PLA for district work. Assemblyman Ash Kalra, and Senator Jim Beall both wrote strong letters of support for the PLA. Beall has run in 5 races for public office, winning 5 of them. He has raised a total of $3,840,613 – with almost ½ from “labor.” Kalra has run in 4 races for public office, winning 3 of them. He has raised a total of $2,090,433 – ½ from labor. You can see their letters here.
Read more >>


Wednesday, May 27, 2020   WECA's Popular 2-Day Exam Prep Is Now Available Online. Get Your Seat in June 20th & 27th Class

Zack's teaching the June class. Grab your seat!


Many students are eager to prepare to take their certification exam--especially now that many of PSI's testing centers across California have reopened for appointments--and WECA wants to meet that need. In order to do so safely and easily in this era of physical distancing due to COVID-19, WECA has taken its popular 2-Day Exam Prep class online! 


Live Online Two Day Exam Preparation is an online, instructor-led, fast-paced code study course focused on using the Code book in preparation for the State Certification exam. 
In this class, you'll meet with your instructor and fellow students over Zoom for two subsequent Saturdays. You'll enjoy not only excellent, personalized instruction and the opportunity to get your questions answered, but also a ton of practice with simulated exam quizzing.

This course is meant to be a refresher course for individuals otherwise ready to take the General or Residential Certification Exam. Much of the class is dedicated to sample testing similar to state exams. It focuses on practical research by the students to find the answers to code questions rather than instruction by lecture. 
This instructor-led online course will next run on two subsequent Saturdays, June 20th and 27th. Learn more and secure your seat in the June 20th & 27th Live Online 2-Day Exam Prep here. 

Students who want a more comprehensive exam preparation experience are encouraged to enroll in WECA's GetWired! 404 Test Prep, consisting of 42 instructor-led hours, also all online.

What do those who have taken Two Day Exam Prep with WECA have to say?

Alfredo Franco, Exam Prep Student:

"Hello, I took the exam prep course in October (Riverside facility) and I want to thank you (Rick Labon, WECA Instructor) and WECA for giving me the skills and techniques necessary to pass my state test. The class was great; it covered a lot of things that I encountered on the exam.  I felt well prepared and walked out of the testing center feeling like a champ. This class is definitely a must for those willing to put in the time and dedication to study hard and pass the examination. Thanks WECA!!"

Kyle Walters, WECA Get Wired! and Exam Prep Student:

"Hey Zack (Wallace, WECA Instructor), I took my online classes with you and I took the test prep course with you back in June. I just wanted to let you know that I passed my test on the 1st try with an 87%. Needless to say I was stoked beyond belief. I wanted to let you know that the 2 day prep course helped me out tremendously. It really helped me understand how to find the codes easier & helped me not to panic because that was definitely the hardest test I've ever taken. I do have to say that the test is ridiculously hard, I swear that half the stuff on the test I've never seen or will ever probably have to deal with. With that being said I just wanted to thank you for all your help."

Dennis Farner, Exam Prep Student:
 
"I recently enrolled in the 2 day exam preparation 16 hour course for residential or general electrician exams. My experience was wonderful. The fast paced refresher course delivered a great amount of usable knowledge needed to pass the exam. The class went as scheduled. The instructor was very knowledgeable in the trade and code, a "well-rounded electrician," and a great person to learn from. He was extremely patient and fair towards questions, and was even willing to stay during lunch and after hours to answer any questions. I took the general exam 1 week after taking the class. I passed! I would recommend this course to anybody who is looking to take the exam. The school and instructors genuinely care and want you to succeed! I am very pleased with my decision. Thank you for taking the time to read my testimonial and great luck with your exam!"
 
Read more >>


Wednesday, May 27, 2020   Videos: WECA Appreciates Our Instructors! Teacher Appreciation Week 2020

During Teacher Appreciation Week earlier this May, WECA had endless thanks for its teachers. Missed it the first time around? No worries -- you can watch our appreciation videos for each instructional team below. Remember to thank a teacher in your life today -- and always!
 
WECA Appreciates Our GetWired Instructors! Teacher Appreciation Week 2020.

WECA Appreciates Our GetWired Instructors! Teacher Appreciation Week 2020
 
It's Teacher Appreciation Week 2020, and WECA Appreciates Our Apprenticeship Instructors!

It's Teacher Appreciation Week 2020, and WECA Appreciates Our Apprenticeship Instructors!
Read more >>


Wednesday, May 27, 2020   COVID-19 Testing Portal: Learn Where, When, and How You Can Test for COVID-19

San Diego County has announced free COVID-19 for all essential workers--most definitely including construction. They've provided this Q and A to help answer your questions about testing.

Q and A from San Diego County:

1) How do I sign up for a free COVID19 diagnostic test?

Go to the following website to register at Lhi.care/covidtesting.   There'll be some questions to complete. Also, you will have options to choose the location, date and time that is most convenient for you. Also, phone registration is available for people without internet access.  Call at 888-634-1123 Monday thru Fridays. 

2) Is this a free and confidential test?   

Yes, the result is shared with only the individual taking the test. 

3) How long does it take to do the test?  

Average time is 5-8 minutes which includes the paperwork and nasal swab test. There is no blood work involved. 

4) Is there an option to do a drive up test?
No - it's by appointment for walk ins only.   There is plenty of free parking on the premises.  There is no waiting room and you can wait in your car until the appointment time.

5) Do you need a doctor's order for the test? 

No, a doctor's order is not needed for the state testing sites.

6) How long does it take to get the lab result?  

Approximately 48 hours is the expected test result timeframe.

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Sacramento County health officers on Wednesday [May 6] announced the private drive-through coronavirus testing site at Cal Expo is now accepting all comers for free tests, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not.

The site, operated by the county along with the Verily research company, has been conducting appointment-only tests at the Expo grounds for six weeks for Sacramento County residents age 18 or older.

Previously, the site only accepted people with mild symptoms. Now the site will accept people who are symptom-free.

People who want to take a test at the site still must fill out a form at the Verily website and obtain an appointment time. As of Wednesday afternoon, appointment bookings were two days out at the Sacramento site. That site is open Monday through Friday. Monday appointments can be made after 7 p.m. on the preceding Friday. To read the rest of the Sacramento Bee article, click here.
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If you live outside of San Diego or Sacramento counties, covid19.ca.gov has resources available to help you determine if you are a candidate for COVID-19 testing and if so, where to obtain COVID-19 testing throughout the state of California. 
Read more >>


Wednesday, May 27, 2020   Laid Off & Looking for Work Due to COVID-19? WECA's Student Referral Service & Job Board Can Help!


Have you been laid off -- and are now seeking employment -- due to COVID-19? WECA is here for you with our Student Referral Service and Electrical and Low Voltage Industry Job Board. 

Many WECA Member Contractors are actively hiring, and we'd like to put you in touch with them.

Get referred to WECA Member Contractor through our Student Referral Service. The only requirement for participation is that you be an active electrician trainee or journeyperson continuing education student with WECA, or a graduate of any of our programs.

What is this Service?

A free job referral service that introduces our current Electrician Trainee, Journeyperson, and WECA-grad job seekers to Member Contractors in order to help them meet their staffing needs. 

Who does this benefit?

Everyone! WECA Member Contractors are referred qualified, WECA-trained applicants to help meet their staffing needs. And in turn, WECA student and grad participants get valuable job referrals.

How does this differ from the WECA Job Board?

WECA's current Electrical and Low Voltage Industry Job Board is a self-service portal where members and electrical and low voltage employment job seekers submit and review resumes and job postings online.

The Student Referral Service, in contrast, provides additional customer service by having WECA staff supply our members with hands-on referrals. In other words--we take some of the hard work off everyone's plate!

The Student Referral Service refers you to employers, and they hire you directly.
To participate in WECA's Student Referral Service, please contact Ana Lopez, WECA ET/Journeyman Program Manager, at alopez@goweca.com or at (877) 444-9322. 

You can also:

Post your resume to the WECA Job Board, or view open positions posted by our Member Contractors. This Job Board is designed to help connect individuals seeking employment in the electrical and low voltage industry with the contractors who want to hire them. In this case, you and the employer will communicate more traditionally through the job application or resume viewing process, and WECA won't be otherwise involved in the referral.

Our Job Board exists for...

Electricians,
Low Voltage Technicians,
Electrician Trainees and Journeymen,
Industry employees (including office personnel!),
and the Member Contractors who want to hire them. 

 
Search Open Positions Today
 
Read more >>


Wednesday, May 27, 2020   Put Safety First -- Get Your Hours on Theme w/ WECA's Online OSHA 10 & 30 Classes w/ ClickSafety

May is National Electrical Safety Month. Consider getting your trainee or  
continuing education hours in with one of the following self-paced, online learning-based OSHA courses, which WECA offers in partnership with ClickSafety . Successful completion of any of these courses also gains you the relevant OSHA certification card, which can be valuable to both you and your employer. Several variations on OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 below! 
 

California OSHA 10-Hour Construction (10 hour course)

This 10-hour online California OSHA training from WECA partner ClickSafety is an excellent way to receive proper training on important safety and health matters at your work sites. It is specially designed to help keep California workers safe while obtaining their OSHA 10-Hour Card.

Learn more about and enroll in California OSHA 10 Construction today!
 

 OSHA 10 Construction (10 Hour Course)

This 10 hour online OSHA training from WECA partner ClickSafety is an excellent way to receive proper training on important safety and health matters at your work sites. It covers fewer topics than OSHA 30.

 Learn more about and enroll in OSHA 10 Construction today!
 


OSHA 10 Construction Spanish (10 Hour Course)

Este curso de 10 horas del socio de WECA, ClickSafety, es una versión en línea del exitoso programa de OSHA, cubriendo menos temas que el OSHA 30. La capacitación de OSHA en línea es una excelente forma de garantizar que ha recibido la formación adecuada en temas importantes de salud y seguridad en sus sitios de trabajo. 

 Â¡Aprende mas sobre e inscrabete en OSHA 10 Construction Spanish hoy mismo!
 


OSHA 30 Construction (30 Hour Course)

This 30 hour online OSHA training from WECA partner ClickSafety is an  even more comprehensive way to receive proper training on important safety and health matters at your work sites.

Learn more about and enroll in OSHA 30 Construction today!
 
Read more >>


Wednesday, May 27, 2020   WECA's GetWired Labs Are Humming Along Online


Our GetWired! Electrician Training Program is usually blended--meaning online lectures combined with in-person electrical labs. But due to COVID-19, our curriculum developers and instructors have been going the extra mile--and then some--to recreate and deliver those labs as dynamic online activities. We can't tell you how fun it is to watch our teachers and students working together to master these same concepts in new ways! Electrician Trainees can feel confident that WECA's providing the same outstanding electrical education you and they are accustomed to--just a little differently at the moment, while we all work together to stay safe through COVID-19. Get the latest on online lab scheduling for GetWired! and other classes on our COVID-19 Advisory Page.
Read more >>


Thursday, May 21, 2020   WECA Takes Its Popular 2-Day Exam Prep Class Online!

LO2DEPMany students are eager to prepare to take their certification exam--especially now that many of PSI's testing centers across California have reopened for appointments--and WECA wants to meet that need. In order to do so safely and easily in this era of physical distancing due to COVID-19, WECA has taken its popular 2-Day Exam Prep class online! 

Live Online Two Day Exam Preparation is an online, instructor-led, fast-paced code study course focused on using the Code book in preparation for the State Certification exam. 

It is meant to be a refresher course for individuals otherwise ready to take the General or Residential Certification Exam. Much of the class is dedicated to sample testing similar to state exams. It focuses on practical research by the students to find the answers to code questions rather than instruction by lecture. 
This instructor-led online course will next run on two subsequent Saturdays, June 20th and 27th. Learn more and secure your seat for yourself or an employee in the June 20th & 27th Live Online 2-Day Exam Prep here.

Students who want a more comprehensive exam preparation experience are encouraged to enroll in WECA's GetWired! 404 Test Prep, consisting of 42 instructor-led hours, also all online.

 
Read more >>


Thursday, May 21, 2020   Video of New CSLB "Get Licensed to Build" Webcast Now Available on CSLB Website


CSLB recently launched a new online workshop, "Get Licensed to Build." The free informational webcast is for those who want to get their California contractor's license. The information can also be used by licensees looking to add an additional classification to their license.

Video from the workshop, which lasted almost 90 minutes, has been posted to CSLB's YouTube Channel.

Watch the video here.

You can also click on links below that will take you to specific topics covered during the workshop.

Topics Covered in Workshop
  • 3:25 Who Needs a License?
  • 4:43 Why Get a License?
  • 6:49 What You'll Need to Get a License - Minimum Qualifications
  • 9:20 Types of Business Entities
  • 10:20 CSLB License Classifications
  • 12:56 The Application Process
  • 15:21 Fingerprint Requirements - Criminal Background Check
  • 18:15 Demonstrating Work Experience
  • 37:41 The Exam Process
  • 41:45 Your New License
  • 43:26 Question & Answers
Dozens of people attended the first online workshop, which included an extensive Question & Answer section.

CSLB welcomes your feedback on the workshop, along with ideas for future workshops, either for license applicants, or the more than 280,000 licensed contractors in California. Send your comments/ideas to: social@cslb.ca.gov.
 
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Thursday, May 21, 2020   CA Dept. of Industrial Relations Issues FAQs & Guidance on COVID-19-Related Workers' Comp Claims

California's Department of Industrial Relations has issued  Frequently Asked Questions to guide compliance with Gov. Newsom's Executive Order on a presumption for COVID-19 related workers' comp claims. 

This initial set of guidance contains 16 points of information but the Department may continue to update the list. Of key interest are questions Number 8 dealing with the use of paid sick leave for these COVID-19 related claims and Number 9 that clarifies the broad scope of the order.  

Cal/OSHA has also updated its guidance on Illness and Injury Prevention Plan (IIPP) and COVID-19 in the workplace. The revision is more expansive than the previous version of general statements and reminders, and it suggests that changes to your IIPP related to COVID-19 are necessary. You can read this article for more information.
Read more >>


Thursday, May 21, 2020   Course Spotlights for National Electrical Safety Month: Online OSHA Safety Courses with ClickSafety



California OSHA 10-Hour Construction (10 hour course)

This 10-hour online California OSHA training from WECA partner ClickSafety is an excellent way to receive proper training on important safety and health matters at your work sites. It is specially designed to help keep California workers safe while obtaining their OSHA 10-Hour Card.

Click here to learn more about and enroll in California OSHA-10 Hour Construction!
 

OSHA 10 Construction (10 Hour Course)

This 10 hour online OSHA training from WECA partner ClickSafety is an excellent way to receive proper training on important safety and health matters at your work sites. It covers fewer topics than OSHA 30.

Click here to learn more about and enroll in OSHA 10 Construction!
 

OSHA 10 Construction Spanish (10 Hour Course)
 
Este curso de 10 horas del socio de WECA, ClickSafety, es una versión en línea del exitoso programa de OSHA, cubriendo menos temas que el OSHA 30. La capacitación de OSHA en línea es una excelente forma de garantizar que ha recibido la formación adecuada en temas importantes de salud y seguridad en sus sitios de trabajo.

Click here to learn more about and enroll in OSHA 10 Construction Spanish!
 

OSHA 30 Construction (30 Hour Course)
 
This 30 hour online OSHA training from WECA partner ClickSafety is an excellent way to receive proper training on important safety and health matters at your work sites.

Click here to learn more about and enroll in OSHA 30 Construction!
 
Read more >>


Thursday, May 21, 2020   WECA's GetWired Labs Are Running Online--And Students Are Actively Engaged


Our GetWired! Electrician Training Program is usually blended--meaning online lectures combined with in-person electrical labs. But due to COVID-19, our curriculum developers and instructors have been going the extra mile--and then some--to recreate and deliver those labs as dynamic online activities. We can't tell you how fun it is to watch our teachers and students working together to master these same concepts in new ways! If you're sponsoring your Electrician Trainees' progression through WECA's GetWired program and Electrician Trainee Program Certificate, you can feel confident that WECA's providing the same outstanding electrical education you and they are accustomed to--just a little differently at the moment, while we all work together to stay safe through COVID-19.

If you're interested in sponsoring your electrician trainees' education at WECA's significantly-discounted member rates--or even just want to make sure they individually take advantage of the discounts they can receive for working for a member--contact us at 1-877-444-9322 to discuss this WECA member benefit.
Read more >>


Thursday, May 21, 2020   Use ThinkHR Learn to Help Your Business Manage the Impact of COVID-19


WECA Member Contractors receive complimentary enrollment and human resources assistance with WECA Partner ThinkHR. Access California human resources forms, documents, tools -- and more! -- online, at your fingertips. 

If you're not yet enrolled, just log in to your WECA website member dashboard  and click "Register for HR Comply from ThinkHR."

WECA is sharing this complimentary content from ThinkHR's recent email release, which contains timely information for businesses as they navigate how to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the workplace:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear valued WECA member,

In our ongoing efforts to help employers better manage the impact of COVID-19,
we are excited to announce several new online employee courses NOW available in
ThinkHR Learn.

Our new Pandemic Response catalog, curated by our internal experts, includes ten courses ranging in topic and audience. You can view the full catalog here, including course descriptions, duration and intended audience.

Download Pandemic Response catalog

This special Pandemic Response catalog is available now through June 30, 2020.

To start assigning the courses to your employees, please login to Learn, then click on the
new "Pandemic Response" icon.

Look out for more new COVID-19 related tools and resources in the days to come.

Sincerely,

The Think HR Team
Read more >>


Thursday, May 21, 2020   DFEH Releases Online Sexual Harassment & Abusive Conduct Prevention Training Courses

DFEHContent Courtesy of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) 

On May 21, 2020, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) released its online training courses for the prevention of sexual harassment and abusive conduct in the workplace. Under California law, all employers with five or more employees must provide the following training to employees every two years:
  • One hour of sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to nonsupervisory employees; and
  • Two hours of sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to supervisors and managers.
This training must include practical examples of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. Additionally, employers must provide employees with a sexual harassment poster or fact sheet and maintain records of all employees' training for at least two years.

All employees must receive training by January 1, 2021. Employers of 50 or more employees have an existing and ongoing obligation to train new supervisory employees within six months of assuming their supervisory position. Beginning January 1, 2021, new supervisory employees in workplaces of five or more employees must be trained within six months of assuming their supervisory position, and new nonsupervisory employees must be trained within six months of hire. Employees must be retrained once every two years.

Read more about the online training courses and FAQs here.
 
Read more >>


Thursday, May 21, 2020   COVID-19 Resources for Member Contractors

Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan
COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
 * Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus
Supplemental Toolbox Talks COVID-19
Coronavirus Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 in Construction Workplace
COVID-19 Safety Meeting Outlines
COVID-19 Toolbox Talks for Subs
Fact Sheet for Pandemics
Marek Brother Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 Action Plan
Pandemic Preparedness - Coronavirus
Coronavirus - Workplace, School and Home Guidance
COVID-19 Tool Cleaning Protocols
COVID-19 Print Resources
COVID-19 Fact Sheet
United States Department of Labor: COVID-19
CDC COVID-19 Risk Assessment Flowchart
CALPASC HR 6201 Guidance
EDD Coronavirus Resources for WECA Community
Contractors State License Board Encourages Licensees to Donate PPE During COVID-19 Emergency
*  WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
* COVID-19 Federal Paid Leaves Explained
 * Get Your Editable Essential Work Permission Slips for Yourself and Your Employees Here
Show the Industry How WECA Contractors Lead in Best Practices for Jobsite Safety During COVID-19
WECA Special Update 4-1-20: New Carpooling and Facemask Recommendations; Sonoma County Joins In On New Bay Area Restrictions; New Requirements in Los Angeles for Comprehensive COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan; Two New Guides to CARES Act from the U.S. Chamber 
Coronavirus: Read the Yuba County and Sutter County Stay-at-Home Orders, issued April 7, 2020
*  OSHA's "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" and Other Resources; Includes Spanish Versions to Help You Reach All Employees

These, and more, plus class scheduling updates for your apprentices and students, are always available on WECA's COVID-19 Advisory Page.
Read more >>


Thursday, May 14, 2020   WECA Political Update: May 14, 2020

Government Affairs and Merit Shop Advocacy
_____________________________________
Senate Returns The State Senate returned to Sacramento this week
and proceeded to commence hearing bills. Here are a couple
we are tracking.

SB 1189 (McGuire) creates a new residential remodeling license (B-2) Sponsored by CSLB, the bill would prohibit a B-2 from “contracting to make structural changes to load bearing portions of an existing structure and from contracting to install, replace, or extend electrical or plumbing systems or their component parts, or the mechanisms or devices that are part of those systems” but would allow them to make “minor alterations to existing electrical or plumbing systems to effectuate the purpose of installing, repairing, or replacing electrical and plumbing fixtures.” WECA opposes this language and is seeking amendments that prohibit the B-2 from doing any electrical work.

AB 2210 (Aguiar-Curry) extends the time from 180 days to 18 months for CSLB to commence an action based upon a Cal-OSHA complaint. (CSLB bill)

AB 1107 (Chu) would, until March 1, 2021, provide that once the temporary federal unemployment increase due to the COVID-19 outbreak has ceased, an individual’s weekly State benefit amount would be increased by $600.

AB 5 modifications. There are still several moving. SB 806 (Grove) will amend the “ABC” test for determining employee versus independent contractor status in order to provide necessary flexibility to the test so that individuals who choose to be independent contractors can continue to work and earn income.

SB 900 (Hill) one of several bills CalChamber supports IF AMENDED to provide a more comprehensive and holistic approach to addressing independent contracting.

AB 3216 (Kalra) New COVID-19 Employment Leave Mandate. Provides for unlimited job protected leave for all employees of employers of any size for family and medical leave due to COVID-19. This new mandate is in addition to numerous COVID-19 leave requirements recently enacted at the federal, state and local levels, and will further burden California employers at a time they can least afford it.

“Mods” urge Newsom to limit business liability, delay rulemaking A group of 17 moderate Assemblymembers have appealed to Gov. Gavin Newsom to mitigate the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic with new measures that include limiting liability for businesses that adhere to safety standards and delaying new rulemaking procedures by four months. You can see the letter here. The legislators urged Newsom to sign an executive order that would extend public comment deadlines for 120 days on new regulations not directly connected to the pandemic response. The first signatory listed is Democrat Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) who was joined by 15 Democratic colleagues in the Assembly, as well as Chad Mayes of Yucca Valley, a former Assembly Republican leader who became an independent last year. No word from the Governor if he will follow or respond.

San Diego PLA Ban may be challenged: The San Diego City Council Rules committee advanced a measure backed by construction unions to overturn the 2012 Measure A that restricted the use of project labor agreements on city infrastructure projects. Councilman Mark Kersey and Barbara Bry opposed advancing the measure. The City Council will soon vote on whether to put the repeal on the November ballot. WECA is in touch with the merit-shop groups who supported Measure A about an opposition effort.

Pay When Paid Decision. While it has been more than twenty years since the California Supreme Court determined, in Wm. R. Clarke Corp. v. Safeco Ins. Co., that “pay-if-paid” provisions in subcontracts were unenforceable, following a recent decision from the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, general contractors, or any other contractors that contract directly with owners, should review their subcontracts to confirm that they do not contain potentially unenforceable “pay-when-paid” provisions. Following the California Supreme Court’s Wm. R. Clarke decision, many direct contractors (defined by California Civil Code § 8018 as a contractor with a direct contractual relationship with an owner) revised the payment provisions in their subcontracts from “pay-if-paid” (where payment by the owner is a condition precedent for payments to the subcontractor) to “pay-when-paid” (requiring the contractor to pay the subcontractors within a defined period after payment by the owner). In the recent Crosno Construction Inc. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America decision, the Fourth District Court of Appeal determined that such “pay-when-paid” provisions may be unenforceable if they run afoul of California’s statutory waiver and release statutes (California Civil Code § 8120 et seq.). More

Executive Order Presumes Employees Who Contract COVID-19 Are Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits On May 6, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order No. N-62-20. The order states that employees will be presumed to have contracted COVID-19 in the course and scope of employment for purposes of workers’ compensation benefits if all of the following conditions are satisfied More

Cal/OSHA Updates COVID-19 Infection Prevention Guidelines for Certain Essential Businesses On May 5, 2020, Cal/OSHA published updated COVID-19 prevention guidelines for specific essential businesses in Agriculture, Child Care, Construction, Grocery Stores and Logistics. With limited exceptions, the guidelines cover a number of general safety topics previously discussed in Cal/OSHA’s prior publications, such as training, cleaning and disinfecting, increasing physical distancing, sanitation practices, and precautions for dealing with a worker who becomes sick with COVID-19, each discussed below. More

California’s 25th Congressional District special election Mike Garcia (R) won the special general election for California's 25th Congressional District after Christy Smith (D) conceded on May 13. At the time Smith conceded, Garcia had 56% of the vote to Smith's 44%. The special election was called to fill the vacancy left by Katie Hill (D), who resigned on November 1, 2019, amid allegations of extramarital relationships with staffers. The remainder of the term will expire on January 3, 2021. Smith and Garcia will run again in a regular general election on November 3 for a full, two-year term. His victory represents the first time in 22 years that California Republicans have captured a congressional seat from Democrats.

Melendez wins state Senate seat Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) claimed an open state Senate seat on Tuesday, besting Democratic education board member Elizabeth Romero. Melendez jumped out to a wide lead on Romero in the first wave of ballots. Her victory puts into play the solidly Republican 67th Assembly district seat Melendez has held since 2013. The result held the line for Senate Republicans, who were defending a vacant seat after former state Sen. Jeff Stone left for a Trump administration post in the Labor Department.
Read more >>


Thursday, May 07, 2020   Video: WECA Appreciates Our GetWired Instructors! Teacher Appreciation Week 2020 instructors

It's Teacher Appreciation Week, and WECA has endless thanks for its teachers. Please watch our appreciation videos for each instructional team below (Fun fact: WECA has nearly forty instructors between its apprenticeship program and electrician trainee/journeyperson continuing education programs!), and remember to thank a teacher in your life this week!
 
WECA Appreciates Our GetWired Instructors! Teacher Appreciation Week 2020.

WECA Appreciates Our GetWired Instructors! During Teacher Appreciation Week 2020


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It's Teacher Appreciation Week 2020, and WECA Appreciates Our Apprenticeship Instructors!
Teacher Appreciation Week 2020: WECA Appreciates Our Apprenticeship Instructors
Read more >>


Thursday, May 07, 2020   San Diego County Encourages Essential Workers, Including Construction, to Access Free COVID Testing

San Diego County has announced free COVID-19 for all essential workers--most definitely including construction. They've provided this Q and A to help answer your questions about testing.

Q and A from San Diego County:

1) How do I sign up for a free COVID19 diagnostic test?
 
Go to the following website to register at Lhi.care/covidtesting.   There'll be some questions to complete. Also, you will have options to choose the location, date and time that is most convenient for you.  
Also, phone registration is available for people without internet access.  Call at 888-634-1123 Monday thru Fridays. 
 
2) Is this a free and confidential test?   
 
Yes, the result is shared with only the individual taking the test. 
 
3) How long does it take to do the test?  
 
Average time is 5-8 minutes which includes the paperwork and nasal swab test. There is no blood work involved. 
 
4) Is there an option to do a drive up test?
No - it's by appointment for walk ins only.   There is plenty of free parking on the premises.  There is no waiting room and you can wait in your car until the appointment time.
5) Do you need a doctor's order for the test? 
 
No, a doctor's order is not needed for the state testing sites.
 
6) How long does it take to get the lab result?  
 
Approximately 48 hours is the expected test result timeframe.
Read more >>


Thursday, May 07, 2020   Sacramento announces free coronavirus drive-through testing for ALL, no symptoms required

Sacramento County health officers on Wednesday announced the private drive-through coronavirus testing site at Cal Expo is now accepting all comers for free tests, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not.

The site, operated by the county along with the Verily research company, has been conducting appointment-only tests at the Expo grounds for six weeks for Sacramento County residents age 18 or older.

Previously, the site only accepted people with mild symptoms. Now the site will accept people who are symptom-free.

People who want to take a test at the site still must fill out a form at the Verily website and obtain an appointment time. As of Wednesday afternoon, appointment bookings were two days out at the Sacramento site. That site is open Monday through Friday. Monday appointments can be made after 7 p.m. on the preceding Friday. To read the rest of the Sacramento Bee article, click here. 
Read more >>


Thursday, May 07, 2020   PSI Re-Opens Several Testing Sites Across California with Limited Testing Capacity

Information for those planning to take a General, Residential or Low Voltage Technician Certification Exam soon psi

As of May 1, 2020, PSI Services, the proctor administering the electrician and low voltage certification exams for the state of California, has re-opened several of its testing sites across the state with precautions. 

WECA has personally checked with PSI testing centers in both Sacramento and San Diego and each reports that they are currently open, practicing social distancing, and only allowing a certain amount of people in the building at a time. Your employees should keep in mind as they schedule an exam appointment that available windows may be limited, so if they're ready to take the exam, they should not delay in securing an appointment. In addition, the State of California confirms that it is actively processing certification applications.

Open PSI Testing Sites in California as of May 6th, 2020 are listed below. (Please note that we received this list by email and PSI's website may still show these sites as closed. Your employees should call the location directly to confirm availability before scheduling their exam): 

1. IRVINE
2. SACRAMENTO (CAL CENTER)
3. SAN FRANCISCO - Suite 2400
4. SAN DIEGO
5. EL MONTE - SANTA FE SPRINGS
6. RIVERSIDE - MISSION GROVE
7. AGOURA HILLS
8. DIAMOND BAR
9. SANTA CLARA
10. SANTA ROSA
11. WALNUT CREEK
12. UNION CITY
13. VENTURA
14. VISALIA
15. LAWNDALE
16. ATASCADERO
17. REDDING
Read more >>


Thursday, May 07, 2020   Salute to COVID-19 Frontline Workers!

Beale AFB Recce Town T-38s and 9th Reconnaissance Wing Performing Flyover on Saturday, May 9th beale

Content Courtesy of Beale AFB Public Affairs Office:

The Recce Town T-38s and 9th Reconnaissance Wing will be performing a formation flyover throughout Northern California, Saturday, 09 May, beginning at 12 p.m., in salute to everyone on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19, as well as those staying at home to "flatten the curve" of the virus. 
 
The formation will be led by the T-38 pilot, Capt. Parker "Betty" Dodds with three combat-ready T-38 pilots from the 9th Reconnaissance Wing.
 
"My fellow Airmen and I are honored to be able to show our support for our healthcare workers and first responders. We hope it brings some joy to them and the community during these uncertain times." said Capt Parker Dodds, T-38 Instructor Pilot. 
 
The flyover is scheduled to takeoff from Beale Air Force Base, and pass over medical facilities in and around Sacramento covering the towns of Grass Valley, Yuba City, Marysville, Wheatland, Lincoln, Roseville, Folsom, Citrus Heights, Sacramento, Vacaville, Travis AFB, Woodland, and Oroville before returning to base.
 
The flyover is intended to provide a salute to all the healthcare professionals, frontline responders, and essential personnel working to keep everyone safe and healthy during these unique times. The flyover also provides training to the pilots, and demonstrates the readiness of the Air Force.
 
"The flyover is a show of support and a salute to Northern California healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential personnel on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19", says Col Andy "Spoo" Clark, Commander of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing at Beale Air Force Base.  "It is our way of saying 'thank you for your service and sacrifice'".
 
For updates or changes to the flyover schedule and locations please follow our social media platforms and official website. 

https://www.facebook.com/BealeAirForceBase
https://www.instagram.com/bealeafb
https://www.beale.af.mil
 
For more information on the flyover or the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, contact the Beale Air Force Base Public Affairs Office at 530-634-8887 or at 9rw.pa@us.af.mil.
To download the flyer for the formation flyover, click here
Read more >>


Thursday, May 07, 2020   GetWired! Instructor Spotlight: Andre Lewis


One of the things that we're most proud of here at WECA is that many of our instructors are former students - as is the case with GetWired! instructor Andre Lewis.

Lewis - born and raised in San Diego - graduated from WECA's Commercial Apprenticeship program in 2010. Prior to landing at WECA, Lewis gained experience retrofitting lighting for banks and warehouses.

And at WECA, Lewis "had the distinct pleasure and opportunity of being taught by some of WECA's finest instructors - like Rick Labon, Rick Mortensen, and Mark Milne, to name a few. And my fascination and love for what we do as electricians grew immensely into a passion which compelled me to give back via teaching for WECA, and to instill the same core values that WECA and their instructors diligently work at articulating and conveying to every student."

WECA is lucky to have Andre - who also works as a maintenance electrician at San Diego State University - as a part-time instructor with our GetWired! program; we are inspired by his unbridled love and enthusiasm for the profession and teaching.

"Every day brings a new challenge, which in turn creates opportunities for new ideas," said Lewis. "Working with some of the world's greatest minds and developing new ways of approaching certain tasks fulfills my heart, and building confidence by exuding enthusiasm when students seem to have lost sight [of the goal] is the joy I find most rewarding with every lesson taught - both online and during labs."

This is perfectly illustrated by one of his mottos: "Seeing is believing, and in most cases, only confirmed through practical applications."

Lewis continued, stating that "learning how to effectively illustrate the language means being able to paint a picture so crystal clear you could almost touch it. It isn't just a challenge, but another benefit to teaching online. These moments aren't just a driving force for me - but what I enjoy most as an instructor."

Looking to the future, Lewis said that he hopes to become a full-time instructor for WECA's San Diego training facility through "a continued effort of self-education."

And when not inspiring and educating students online through the GetWired! program, Lewis predominantly spends his days off with his wife Ashley and his three children - Zechiyah, Andre Jr., and Drevione.

Thank you, Andre, for bringing your passion, dedication, and sincere warmth to the WECA family!
Read more >>


Thursday, May 07, 2020   Special Deep Discount for WECA Members and Their Employees

$100 for 32 Hours or $75 for 16 Hours Select Journeyperson Continuing Ed. Four course options available in each price range. discount

WECA-developed online self-paced courses currently available at a significant discount to help our members and their employees who are using this time to study.

$100 for 32 hours or $75 for 16 hours for members and their employees. See below for qualifying courses.
_____________________________________________________

WECA is offering our original, in-house developed online self-paced 32-hour courses for $100 each and our original 16-hour online classes for $75 each to WECA member contractors' employees until May 31, 2020! Members' journeyperson electricians can get their full 32 renewal hours for just $100. Our 16 hour packages are available for only $75 for those who need fewer hours. 

Only employees of member contractors are eligible for this deal. (Your electrician trainees are welcome to get this deal, too. They should just check to make sure they have the prerequisite education listed for each class to succeed.)

To get the discounts, give us a call or email us so we can confirm employment with a WECA Member Contractor. These discounts are not available through our website. Quickest way: call us at 1-877-444-9322!
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32-Hour Options
$100 each for a limited time
(normally $259)

Perfect Sizing:

In this course, students learn about sizing motor circuits, sizing motor feeder circuits, wiring motors and air conditioners, and proper selection and installation of the correct electrical circuit components and conductors needed for different load and circuit configurations.

 Learn more about Perfect Sizing here 
But call in to get your discount!

Faultless Solar:
 
This course combines two of WECA's popular 16-hour courses, "Faultless" and "Solar Power for Electricians," into one convenient 32-hour package. Journeymen learn about how to coordinate information in specific NEC articles, so they can properly select and install the correct electrical circuit components and conductors needed for different load and circuit configurations. Then, build on that knowledge as they learn about the fundamental concepts required for safe, code-compliant installation of residential and commercial-scale Solar Photovoltaic systems.

Learn more about Faultless Solar
But call in to get your discount!

Fire Life Safety Exam Preparation (also a good Code refresher for Continuing Education):

This self-paced online course is for students who want to study for the California Fire Life Safety Technician certification exam at their own pace. Informative presentations help guide students through the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70) as well as the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (NFPA 72). It is meant for individuals almost ready to take the exam. Much of the class is dedicated to sample testing similar to state exams. It focuses on practical research by the students to find the answers to code questions rather than instruction by lecture.

Learn more about Fire Life Safety Exam Prep.
 But call in to get your discount!

Voice Data Video Exam Preparation (also a good Code refresher for Continuing Education):

This self-paced online course is for students who want to study for the California Voice Data Video Technician certification exam at their own pace. Informative presentations help guide students through developing proficiency in the preparation for and execution of the VDV certification exam. It is meant for individuals who are almost ready to take the exam. Much of the class is dedicated to sample testing similar to state exams. It focuses on practical research by the students to find the answers to questions rather than instruction by lecture.

Learn more about Voice Data Video Exam Prep.
But call in to get your discount!
___________________________________________________________________

16-Hour Options
$75 each for a limited time
(normally $189)

Solar Power for Electricians

In this course, students will learn about photovoltaic systems, both residential and commercial, and their safe installation in compliance with the National Electrical Code.

Learn more about Solar Power for Electricians
But call in to get your discount!

Service Technician: General Residential

This self-paced course is an introduction to residential troubleshooting, based on what a service technician needs to know and do, as a representative of their company, while utilizing good work practices.

Learn more about Service Technician: General Residential
But call in to get your discount!

FAULTLESS: A code-based path to error-free electrical circuit installations

Learn more about FAULTLESS: A code-based path to error-free electrical circuit installations
But call in to get your discount!

Motor City

This course combines two of WECA's popular 8-hour courses, "Sizing Motor Circuits" and "Wiring Motors and Air Conditioners," into one convenient 16-hour package. Learn about motors, air conditioners, how to perform motor circuit calculations and NEC requirements for sizing motor circuits.

Learn more about Motor City
But call in to get your discount!

Note: if you or your journeyperson electricians have previously taken any of the standalone classes "Faultless," "Solar Power for Electricians," "Sizing Motor Circuits," "Wiring Motors and Air Conditioners," or "GetWired! 304" on the current code year (2014), please consult a WECA client services representative for help selecting the appropriate 16- or 32-hour package.
Read more >>


Thursday, May 07, 2020   San Diego Releases Industry-Developed Guidelines to Restart San Diego Region Economic Activity

Guidance can be used by businesses as soon as state orders are lifted guidance2

San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and San Diego County Supervisor and Greg Cox released guidelines developed by industry and workforce leaders to prepare the San Diego region to restart economic activity. The guidance can be used by businesses planning to safely reopen their doors as soon as state orders are lifted. You can read the press release here which includes a link to the guidelines - including the San Diego Construction Industry Coalition-created COVID-19 Exposure Response & Prevention Plan, on which WECA collaborated, and which outlines exposure response, control, prevention, containment, and training to promote preventative workplace habits in order to mitigate transmission of the virus between employees and contractors. 
Read more >>


Thursday, May 07, 2020   Client Alert - Getting Paid! Don't Delay Your Mechanic's Liens During The Covid-19 Pandemic

By Milene C. Apanian, Esq.
Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman

Since earlier Alerts, clients have been asking about the current status of recording mechanic's liens during the Covid-19 pandemic. As it stands, the various County Recorder's offices are still closed to the public, including attorney services and attorneys. 

The County Recorder's offices are currently open and functioning. New mechanic's liens, mechanic's lien releases and other documents can be recorded. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are considering recording a mechanic's lien on a project to help collect for work performed:

Venue For Recording Mechanic's Liens:

Mechanic's liens must be recorded in the county where the property is located. Where you are recording your mechanic's lien will determine the processing time for your mechanic's liens. Each county has issued its own Covid-19 order and currently has different operating hours, staffing issues and concerns, and therefore each county recorder's office has a different turn-around time. Over the past few weeks, our office has recorded mechanic's liens in different counties, including Los Angeles, Orange, Merced, Fresno, Solano Counties. Each county has had a different response time. Some took two weeks; others took four or six weeks to return the recorded document. Documents sent to the same county on the same day have had different return times. The processing times change depending on the county workload, staffing and backlog, and is changing constantly. 

Recordings are Done Through the Mail:

Prior to the Pandemic, mechanic's liens could be recorded in person at the county recorder's office with a same day confirmation. Additionally, attorney services were able to hand carry the mechanic's liens to the county recorder's office and return the recorded document fairly quickly. As of this update, most county recorder's office (if not all) are still closed to the public and therefore the expedited - or in person recording - options are unavailable. Mechanic's liens must now be mailed to the county recorder's office. This adds additional time to send the document to be recorded, and to receive the recorded document back from the recorder's office. Some documents mailed to our office have taken seven days to be delivered. 

Furthermore, it is our understanding that mechanic's liens are recorded with the date that the recorder's office processes and actually records the document. They are not backdated to the date the document was received at the recorder's office. This means that the date the mechanic's lien is recorder is out of our control and depends on when the recorder's office processes the document. Depending on the county recorder's office's backlog, a mechanic's lien can sit at the county for a day, a week, or a number of weeks. It is currently impossible to confirm the recordation of the mechanic's lien on an expedited basis. The recordation is confirmed once the recorded documents is received back from the recorder. 

Deadlines for Recording Mechanic's Liens:

Calculating the deadline to record a mechanic's lien is a fact-based analysis based on the project timeline and the different mechanic's lien statutes. Since each project has its own unique facts and situation, this update does not provide a detailed analysis of the various deadlines. However, remember two key points:

(a)  The deadline to record a mechanic's lien is calculated based on the project completion date. (Completion is a statutory term with specific legal meaning.) Whether a project is "completed" requires a legal analysis of the project specific facts and is beyond this update. Keep in mind that depending on the facts and circumstances, the deadline to record a mechanic's lien is 90 days from the project completion date. However, if a "notice of completion" or a "notice of cessation" is recorded for the project, general contractors have 60 days, and subcontractors have 30 days from the recordation of the notice of completion/cessation. 
 
(b)  As of this update, we are unaware of any emergency order, law, or statue that tolls (or puts on hold) the deadlines (statute of limitations) for recording mechanic's liens during the pandemic. This means that all mechanic's liens must be recorded based on existing California statues, even if the county recorders' offices are backlogged.

Project Cessation:

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, some construction projects have been suspended, either because of governmental orders preventing construction, or because the project owner/developer has decided to temporarily suspend construction activities. Regardless of the reason for the suspension, if a project is on hold or suspended for more than 60 days, that project is deemed "completed" under California statutes. Therefore, the deadline to record a mechanic's lien is triggered, even if the project is resumed. 

CONCLUSION:

The point of this update is, do not delay recording your mechanic's lien. It is now taking longer to deliver the mechanic's lien to the county recorder's office; for the county recorder's office to record the mechanic's lien; and to receive the recorded mechanic's lien back from the county recorder's office. In some cases, it has taken four weeks to send, record and receive back a mechanic's lien. If you are owed money on a project and are debating whether to record a mechanic's lien, or delay the recordation in the hopes of receiving payment, be reminded that by the time you decide to act and record your mechanic's lien, you may be out of time. Do not procrastinate, act sooner than you would have before Covid-19. Stay safe! 

If you need assistance with recording a mechanic's lien or getting paid on projects, email me at  mca@agrlaw.com to discuss further. 
Read more >>


Thursday, May 07, 2020   COVID-19 Resources for Member Contractors

Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan
COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
 * Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus
Supplemental Toolbox Talks COVID-19
Coronavirus Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 in Construction Workplace
COVID-19 Safety Meeting Outlines
COVID-19 Toolbox Talks for Subs
Fact Sheet for Pandemics
Marek Brother Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 Action Plan
Pandemic Preparedness - Coronavirus
Coronavirus - Workplace, School and Home Guidance
COVID-19 Tool Cleaning Protocols
COVID-19 Print Resources
COVID-19 Fact Sheet
United States Department of Labor: COVID-19
CDC COVID-19 Risk Assessment Flowchart
CALPASC HR 6201 Guidance
EDD Coronavirus Resources for WECA Community
Contractors State License Board Encourages Licensees to Donate PPE During COVID-19 Emergency
*  WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
* COVID-19 Federal Paid Leaves Explained
 * Get Your Editable Essential Work Permission Slips for Yourself and Your Employees Here
Show the Industry How WECA Contractors Lead in Best Practices for Jobsite Safety During COVID-19
WECA Special Update 4-1-20: New Carpooling and Facemask Recommendations; Sonoma County Joins In On New Bay Area Restrictions; New Requirements in Los Angeles for Comprehensive COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan; Two New Guides to CARES Act from the U.S. Chamber 
Coronavirus: Read the Yuba County and Sutter County Stay-at-Home Orders, issued April 7, 2020
*  OSHA's "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" and Other Resources; Includes Spanish Versions to Help You Reach All Employees

These, and more, plus class scheduling updates for your apprentices and students, are always available on WECA's COVID-19 Advisory Page.
Read more >>


Thursday, April 30, 2020   WECA Political Update 4-30-2020

WECA Political Update
April 30, 2020
Government Affairs and Merit Shop Advocacy
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Legislature Returns Home And by home – I mean Sacramento! I knew the Senate and State Assembly would be heading back to town when I started getting e-mails from elected officials asking how my family and I were weathering the COVID-19 crisis. Some were probably sincere but many were, I believe, a test to see if I was responding to email so they could follow-up with an invitation to one of their “virtual fundraisers” that will start to happen once they return over the next two weeks.

The Assembly will gavel in on Monday morning – but will not meet in the usual crowded floor session – and the committee hearings will be short and perfunctory with limits on the number of lobbyists, media and general public admitted.

The Senate is delaying their return for a week as they implement plans to permit remote voting. Here too, there is disagreement – as the Assembly has concluded that remote voting is not permissible under California law.

While earlier pronouncements loftily claimed that “only bills dealing with COVID-19, homelessness, and disaster response would be taken up, the Assembly will be considering such weighty matters as: Alice Peña Bulos Memorial Highway, Telecommunications: automatic dialing-announcing devices: call mitigation technology, Deceptive practices: debt settlement, Pregnant correctional officers: duty assignment policy, Los Angeles Unified School District: best value procurement, Governor’s Military Council, Refugee social services, Residential property insurance, Mobile Slaughter Operations: Sheep and Goats, Charitable organizations: charitable fundraising platforms and platform charities, and Faith-based organization affiliated housing development projects: parking requirements. Sounds like business as usual to me.

Bay Area Shelter in Place The San Francisco Bay Area stay-at-home order has been modified. It now allows for all construction to proceed, but with a new mandatory safety protocol for both “Large Construction Projects” and “Small Construction Projects”.

“Large Construction Projects” will require the following:

Assign a COVID-19 Safety Compliance Officer (SCO) to the jobsite and ensure the SCO’s name is posted on the Site-Specific Health and Safety Plan. The SCO must:
1)     Ensure implementation of all recommended safety and sanitation requirements regarding the COVID-19 virus at the jobsite.
2)     Compile daily written verification that each jobsite is compliant with the components of this LCP Protocol. Each written verification form must be copied, stored, and made immediately available upon request by any County official.
3)    Establish a daily screening protocol for arriving staff, to ensure that potentially infected staff do not enter the construction site. If workers leave the jobsite and return the same day, establish a cleaning and decontamination protocol prior to entry and exit of the jobsite. Post the daily screening protocol at all entrances and exit to the jobsite. More information on screening can be found online at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html.
4)    Conduct daily briefings in person or by teleconference that must cover the following topics:
a)     New jobsite rules and pre-job site travel restrictions for the prevention of COVID-19 community spread.
b)     Review of sanitation and hygiene procedures.
c)     Solicitation of worker feedback on improving safety and sanitation.
d)     Coordination of construction site daily cleaning/sanitation requirements.
e)     Conveying updated information regarding COVID-19.6. Emergency protocols in the event of an exposure or suspected exposure to COVID-19.
5)     Develop and ensure implementation of a remediation plan to address any non-compliance with this LCP Protocol and post remediation plan at entrance and exit of jobsite during remediation period. The remediation plan must be translated as necessary to ensure that all non-English speaking workers are able to understand the document.
6)     The SCO must not permit any construction activity to continue without bringing such activity into compliance with these requirements.
7)     Report repeated non-compliance with this LCP Protocol to the appropriate jobsite supervisors and a designated County official.



The project must also have a COVID-19 Third-Party Jobsite Safety Accountability Supervisor (JSAS) for the jobsite, who at a minimum holds an OSHA-30 certificate and first-aid training within the past two years, who must be trained in the protocols herein and verify compliance, including by visual inspection and random interviews with workers, with this LCP Protocol.

1)     Within seven calendar days of each jobsite visit, the JSAS must complete a written assessment identifying any failure to comply with this LCP Protocol. The written assessment must be copied, stored, and, upon request by the County, sent to a designated County official.
2)     If the JSAS discovers that a jobsite is not in compliance with this LCP Protocol, the JSAS must work with the SCO to develop and implement a remediation plan.
3)     The JSAS must coordinate with the SCO to prohibit continuation of any work activity not in compliance with rules stated herein until addressed and the continuing work is compliant.
4)     The remediation plan must be sent to a designated County official within five calendar days of the JSAS’s discovery of the failure to comply.



Here is Alameda County’s Order for reference. The six Bay Area counties are basically the same.

Governor Newsom Taps California Business, Labor, Health Care and Community Leaders for New Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery On the heels of Lenny Mendonca’s resignation as Chief Economic Advisor, Head of Go-Biz, and Chair of the High-Speed Rail Authority, Governor Newsom selected former Presidential candidate and proponent of Trump impeachment Tom Steyer to become his chief advisor and to chair the Governor’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery. The Task Force will work to develop actions government and businesses can take to help Californians recover as fast and as safely possible from the COVID-19-induced recession and to shape a fair, green, and prosperous future. They will meet twice a month throughout 2020 to develop options that would work for all Californians, with a particular focus on those hardest hit by the pandemic. 80 members – including all the living ex-governors were originally appointed – but that list has grown to 87. You can see the full list here.

Columnist Dan Walters was not particularly optimistic about the chances for great success.

“The group’s unwieldy size is compounded by an inability to meet personally. Moreover, its something-for-everyone composition, its polarizing co-chairs, its brief time frame and, finally, the dim history of such exercises make some positive and lasting effect unlikely.” On Steyer, he observed “Having Steyer, with his penchant for ideological confrontation, in the driver’s seat is probably more an impediment than a lubricant.”

George Skelton of the LA Times observed, “There are 14 union leaders, including Art Pulaski, executive secretary-treasurer of the California Labor Federation.” And Robbie Hunter, President of the State Building and Construction Trades Council, is a member and co-chair of the Capital Markets & Infrastructure sub-committee – one of 12 sub-groups (complete list here) of the taskforce who are supposed to figure out how to get California moving again. The Markets & Infrastructure sub-committee is supposed to determine “how can the state and other California entities take advantage of low interest rates to invest in infrastructure and other capital projects, create jobs and put people back to work in a cost-effective way? Where can government partner with business, industry, and NGOs in order to expedite processes and streamline projects, while still protecting workers, consumers and the health of the public?”

Skelton reached out to several of the members of the taskforce for comments – one who responded was the mercurial Hunter who “offered some hope. He talked about compromising on a longtime developer bugaboo: the California Environmental Quality Act, which often slows down projects because of long, drawn-out lawsuits. He suggested streamlining the CEQA appeals process for major projects — just as the Legislature has previously done for sports stadiums and arenas. ‘I think that’s doable,’ Hunter said.” Skelton probably neglected to ask Hunter if a PLA would be a requirement of such a deal.

Bill Changes Authority of Governor Possibly anticipating US Senator Kamala Harris’ selection as VP candidate – and the chance that Biden/Harris are elected in November – Assemblyman Kevin Kiley amended his AB 2194 to require that a vacancy in the office of United States Senator be filled in the same manner as a vacancy in a congressional representative or state legislative office. Under existing law, the Governor appoints when a vacancy occurs in the US Senate or County Board of Supervisors, but other vacancies are filled by special elections. The bill is unlikely to get much traction.
Read more >>


Monday, April 27, 2020   GetWired! Labs Held Online Through at Least May 31, & Other Class Scheduling Changes due to COVID-19

Electrician Trainees and Journeymen Continuing Education students: 

Please review the information below for changes to upcoming GetWired lab scheduling and in-person classroom courses, in response to continuation of  COVID-19 Stay-at-Home orders in many counties in California through at least the end of May.

Online classes will continue to be delivered as scheduled with no interruption, including all evening GetWired classes. Alternate online arrangements are offered for onsite lab days; please read below for details specific to your course.

WECA will be postponing or rescheduling in-person classroom courses (such as Basic Motor Controls or Two Day Exam Prep) for the remainder of May 2020.
For those students currently enrolled in a GetWired class with a lab date in May, including May 2nd labs for GetWired 103, 104, or 201; May 9th labs for GetWired 101 or 202; May 16th labs for GetWired 101, 203, or 204; or May 30th labs for GetWired  101, 102, or 201:
  • Your lab will be conducted entirely online.
  • Your lab date will remain identical. Your lab time may shift from afternoon to morning, or vice versa. Please watch your email for further details.
  • WECA will send you confirmation of your login instructions for your online lab.
For those students enrolled in the Two Day Exam Prep instance starting Saturday, May 16th in Rancho Cordova or San Diego. 
  • WECA is cancelling these class instances.
  • You may transfer into a future Two Day Exam Prep instance with no transfer fees.
  • You may also transfer into an upcoming GetWired 404 Exam Prep instance with no transfer fees and at no additional cost. (GetWired 404 is entirely online and delves even more deeply into preparation for the State certification exam).
  • You may request a full refund.
For those students enrolled in Basic Motor Controls Part 1 in Rancho Cordova, beginning May 30th:
  • WECA is cancelling this class instance.
  • You may transfer into a future Basic Motor Controls instance with no transfer fees.
  • You may request a full refund.
The situation around COVID-19 is rapidly evolving and WECA's class delivery plans are subject to further modifications based upon subsequent advice from authorities. We're glad to be able to deliver our regularly-scheduled online classes without interruption. Please follow WECA's communications closely for further updates, as we will do our best to rapidly communicate any further changes to you. Thank you for your patience and solidarity as we all work together to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on our community.

Note: WECA has suspended sales of its DVD/Textbook-based home study courses. All online home study courses will remain available.

Want to learn more? Our COVID-19 Advisory page outlines WECA's response to the California Stay-at-Home mandate, and how we're working to ensure that the mandate disrupts your educational experience as little as possible. Please check it often for up-to-date information. 
Read more >>


Monday, April 27, 2020   Video: When Apprenticeship Education Had to Go Online, WECA Was Ready

Take a quick peek behind the scenes:
 
 When Apprenticeship Education Had to Go Online, WECA Was Ready
Read more >>


Monday, April 27, 2020   Summer 2020 Courses, Including the Entire GetWired Series, Now Available for Enrollment!

But Act Fast -- Seats Are Filling Quickly! advisory
WECA's expertise in online education means that we're able to offer our full catalog of GetWired and self-paced courses without pause. Feel confident that we'll keep delivering great online experiences, and alternate online labs for as long as is necessary. There's no need for you to hit the pause button on your journey to becoming a certified electrician, or renew as one.

View the Electrician Trainee course catalog here.

Jump to the Journeyman continuing education course catalog here

Summer courses are open for online enrollment, and of course you can also enroll over the phone at (877) 444-9322 , or by email at info@goweca.com.

If you have any questions regarding a particular course, please call (877) 444-9322 or email us at info@goweca.com.
Read more >>


Monday, April 27, 2020   GetWired! Instructor Spotlight: Andre Lewis


One of the things that we're most proud of here at WECA is that many of our instructors are former students - as is the case with GetWired! instructor Andre Lewis.

Lewis - born and raised in San Diego - graduated from WECA's Commercial Apprenticeship program in 2010. Prior to landing at WECA, Lewis gained experience retrofitting lighting for banks and warehouses.

And at WECA, Lewis "had the distinct pleasure and opportunity of being taught by some of WECA's finest instructors - like Rick Labon, Rick Mortensen, and Mark Milne, to name a few. And my fascination and love for what we do as electricians grew immensely into a passion which compelled me to give back via teaching for WECA, and to instill the same core values that WECA and their instructors diligently work at articulating and conveying to every student."

WECA is lucky to have Andre - who also works as a maintenance electrician at San Diego State University - as a part-time instructor with our GetWired! program; we are inspired by his unbridled love and enthusiasm for the profession and teaching.

"Every day brings a new challenge, which in turn creates opportunities for new ideas," said Lewis. "Working with some of the world's greatest minds and developing new ways of approaching certain tasks fulfills my heart, and building confidence by exuding enthusiasm when students seem to have lost sight [of the goal] is the joy I find most rewarding with every lesson taught - both online and during labs."

This is perfectly illustrated by one of his mottos: "Seeing is believing, and in most cases, only confirmed through practical applications."

Lewis continued, stating that "learning how to effectively illustrate the language means being able to paint a picture so crystal clear you could almost touch it. It isn't just a challenge, but another benefit to teaching online. These moments aren't just a driving force for me - but what I enjoy most as an instructor."

Looking to the future, Lewis said that he hopes to become a full-time instructor for WECA's San Diego training facility through "a continued effort of self-education."

And when not inspiring and educating students online through the GetWired! program, Lewis predominantly spends his days off with his wife Ashley and his three children - Zechiyah, Andre Jr., and Drevione.

Thank you, Andre, for bringing your passion, dedication, and sincere warmth to the WECA family!
Read more >>


Monday, April 27, 2020   Laid Off and Looking for Work Due to COVID-19? WECA's Job Board Is Here to Help You


Have you been laid off -- and are now seeking employment -- due to COVID-19? WECA is here for you with our Electrical and Low Voltage Industry Job Board. 

Wondering how it works? Simply post your resume to the WECA Job Board, or view open positions posted by our Member Contractors. This Job Board is designed to help connect individuals seeking employment in the electrical and low voltage industry with the contractors who want to hire them.

Our Job Board exists for...

Electricians,
Low Voltage Technicians,
Electrician Trainees and Journeymen,
Industry employees (including office personnel!),
and the Member Contractors who want to hire them. 

Search Open Positions Today
 
Read more >>


Thursday, April 23, 2020   When Apprenticeship Had to Go Online, WECA Was Ready

Take a quick peek behind the scenes:
 
When Apprenticeship Education Had to Go Online, WECA Was Ready
Read more >>


Thursday, April 23, 2020   Napa County Eases COVID-19 Restrictions; Permits All Construction with Proper Distancing Protocols

napaContent Courtesy of KTVU.com

Napa County issued a revised stay-at-home order on Wednesday that now permits some projects and activities to resume with proper social distancing.That means all construction can resume...

Full list of revisions to Napa County's stay-at-home order:
- Permits all construction with proper physical distancing protocols.

 Read More
 
Read more >>


Thursday, April 23, 2020   Special Deep Discount for WECA Members and Their Employees

$100 for 32 Hours or $75 for 16 Hours Select Journeyperson Continuing Ed. Four course options available in each price range. discount
 
WECA-developed online self-paced courses currently available at a significant discount to help our members and their employees who are using this time to study.

 $100 for 32 hours or $75 for 16 hours for members and their employees. See below for qualifying courses.

WECA is offering our original, in-house developed online self-paced 32-hour courses for $100 each and our original 16-hour online classes for $75 each to WECA member contractors' employees until May 31, 2020! Members' journeyperson electricians can get their full 32 renewal hours for just $100. Our 16 hour packages are available for only $75 for those who need fewer hours. 
Only employees of member contractors are eligible for this deal. (Your electrician trainees are welcome to get this deal, too. They should just check to make sure they have the prerequisite education listed for each class to succeed.)
 
To get the discounts, give us a call or email us so we can confirm employment with a WECA Member Contractor. These discounts are not available through online enrollment. Quickest way: call us at 1-877-444-9322!
___________________________________________________________________________________
 
32-Hour Options
$100 each for a limited time
(normally $259)
 
Perfect Sizing:
 
In this course, students learn about sizing motor circuits, sizing motor feeder circuits, wiring motors and air conditioners, and proper selection and installation of the correct electrical circuit components and conductors needed for different load and circuit configurations.
 
 Learn more about Perfect Sizing here 
But call in to get your discount!
 
Faultless Solar:
 
This course combines two of WECA's popular 16-hour courses, "Faultless" and "Solar Power for Electricians," into one convenient 32-hour package. Journeymen learn about how to coordinate information in specific NEC articles, so they can properly select and install the correct electrical circuit components and conductors needed for different load and circuit configurations. Then, build on that knowledge as they learn about the fundamental concepts required for safe, code-compliant installation of residential and commercial-scale Solar Photovoltaic systems.
 
Learn more about Faultless Solar
 But call in to get your discount!

Fire Life Safety Exam Preparation (also a good Code refresher for Continuing Education):


This self-paced online course is for students who want to study for the California Fire Life Safety Technician certification exam at their own pace. Informative presentations help guide students through the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70) as well as the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (NFPA 72). It is meant for individuals almost ready to take the exam. Much of the class is dedicated to sample testing similar to state exams. It focuses on practical research by the students to find the answers to code questions rather than instruction by lecture.

Learn more about Fire Life Safety Exam Prep.
But call in to get your discount!

Voice Data Video Exam Preparation (also a good Code refresher for Continuing Education):

This self-paced online course is for students who want to study for the California Voice Data Video Technician certification exam at their own pace. Informative presentations help guide students through developing proficiency in the preparation for and execution of the VDV certification exam. It is meant for individuals who are almost ready to take the exam. Much of the class is dedicated to sample testing similar to state exams. It focuses on practical research by the students to find the answers to questions rather than instruction by lecture.

Learn more about Voice Data Video Exam Prep.
But call in to get your discount!
___________________________________________________________________________________
 
16-Hour Options
$75 each for a limited time
(normally $189)
Solar Power for Electricians
In this course, students will learn about photovoltaic systems, both residential and commercial, and their safe installation in compliance with the National Electrical Code.
 Learn more about Solar Power for Electricians
But call in to get your discount!
Service Technician: General Residential
This self-paced course is an introduction to residential troubleshooting, based on what a service technician needs to know and do, as a representative of their company, while utilizing good work practices.

 Learn more about Service Technician: General Residential
But call in to get your discount!
FAULTLESS: A code-based path to error-free electrical circuit installations


 Learn more about FAULTLESS: A code-based path to error-free electrical circuit installations
But call in to get your discount!

Motor City
This course combines two of WECA's popular 8-hour courses, "Sizing Motor Circuits" and "Wiring Motors and Air Conditioners," into one convenient 16-hour package. Learn about motors, air conditioners, how to perform motor circuit calculations and NEC requirements for sizing motor circuits.


 Learn more about Motor City
But call in to get your discount!
___________________________________________________________________________________

Note: if you or your journeyperson electricians have previously taken any of the standalone classes "Faultless," "Solar Power for Electricians," "Sizing Motor Circuits," "Wiring Motors and Air Conditioners," or "GetWired! 304" on the current code year (2014), please consult a WECA client services representative for help selecting the appropriate 16- or 32-hour package.

Download a flyer set going over these and all of WECA's other substantial, standing discounts on journeyperson and electrician trainee classes for our members. WECA's been California's leading provider of online electrical education since 2007:

WECA Member Training Discounts
Read more >>


Thursday, April 23, 2020   New Code Edition Released for WECA's Online, Self-Paced, 32-Hour Fire Life Safety Exam Prep Course


Do you have employees looking to take the California Fire Life Safety Technician certification exam in the future? WECA's comprehensive Fire Life Safety exam preparation course just got a Code-update, and is now based on the 2016 NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code 2017 NFPA 70 National Electrical Code.

This self-paced online course is for students who want to study for the California Fire Life Safety Technician certification exam at their own pace. Informative presentations help guide students through the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70) as well as the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (NFPA 72). It is meant for individuals almost ready to take the exam. It is also suitable as journeyman electrician continuing education for those looking to further their knowledge in the area of Fire/Life Safety. Much of the class is dedicated to sample testing similar to state exams. It focuses on practical research by the students to find the answers to code questions rather than instruction by lecture.

Learning how to effectively subject index exam questions, whether located in the NFPA 70 or the NFPA 72, will help students to:
  • Effectively find the answers to any exam question
  • Improve exam-taking speed
  • Gain a greater understanding of their field
  • And more!
Click here to learn more about WECA's Fire Life Safety exam prep course and be sure to share this information with your employees!
Read more >>


Thursday, April 23, 2020   Software Companies Develop Tech Safety Nets to Measure Social Distancing

Content courtesy of: ConstructionDive apps

Construction remains essential in many states, meaning work on jobsites can continue. But CDC guidelines and local governments emphasize the importance of maintaining proper health procedures such as regularly washing hands and maintaining a safe social distance even while working.


In response, several construction apps have implemented or updated programs that allow site managers and workers to have an idea of ongoing social distancing practices to ensure everyone on site remains safe, including before and after coronavirus symptoms or diagnoses.

Read More
Read more >>


Thursday, April 23, 2020   COVID-19 Resources for Member Contractors

Supplemental Toolbox Talks COVID-19
Coronavirus Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 in Construction Workplace
COVID-19 Safety Meeting Outlines
COVID-19 Toolbox Talks for Subs
Fact Sheet for Pandemics
Marek Brother Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 Action Plan
Pandemic Preparedness - Coronavirus
Coronavirus - Workplace, School and Home Guidance
COVID-19 Tool Cleaning Protocols
COVID-19 Print Resources
COVID-19 Fact Sheet
United States Department of Labor: COVID-19
CDC COVID-19 Risk Assessment Flowchart
CALPASC HR 6201 Guidance
EDD Coronavirus Resources for WECA Community
Contractors State License Board Encourages Licensees to Donate PPE During COVID-19 Emergency
*  WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
* COVID-19 Federal Paid Leaves Explained
 * Get Your Editable Essential Work Permission Slips for Yourself and Your Employees Here
Show the Industry How WECA Contractors Lead in Best Practices for Jobsite Safety During COVID-19
WECA Special Update 4-1-20: New Carpooling and Facemask Recommendations; Sonoma County Joins In On New Bay Area Restrictions; New Requirements in Los Angeles for Comprehensive COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan; Two New Guides to CARES Act from the U.S. Chamber 
Coronavirus: Read the Yuba County and Sutter County Stay-at-Home Orders, issued April 7, 2020
*  OSHA's "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" and Other Resources; Includes Spanish Versions to Help You Reach All Employees

These, and more, plus class scheduling updates for your apprentices and students, are always available on WECA's COVID-19 Advisory Page.
Read more >>


Thursday, April 16, 2020   WECA Political Update April 16, 2020

WECA Political Update
April 16, 2020
Government Affairs and Merit Shop Advocacy
__________________________________________________
Governor Newsom Outlines Six Critical Indicators the State will Consider Before Modifying the Stay-at-Home Order Newsom unveiled six key indicators that will guide California’s thinking for when and how to modify the stay-at-home and other orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

California’s six indicators for modifying the stay-at-home order are:
  • The ability to monitor and protect our communities through testing, contact tracing, isolating, and supporting those who are positive or exposed;
  • The ability to prevent infection in people who are at risk for more severe COVID-19;
  • The ability of the hospital and health systems to handle surges;
  • The ability to develop therapeutics to meet the demand;
  • The ability for businesses, schools, and child care facilities to support physical distancing; and
  • The ability to determine when to reinstitute certain measures, such as the stay-at-home orders, if necessary.
The Governor said there is not a precise timeline for modifying the stay-at-home order, but that these six indicators will serve as the framework for making that decision. Newsom has issued 29 executive orders since March – you can see the list here.

Economic Forecast – Grim From Vox “There is no normal for the foreseeable future in any of the major plans that have emerged for what comes after social distancing in the United States from the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, the left-leaning Center for American Progress, Harvard University’s Safra Center for Ethics, and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer. Until there’s a vaccine for coronavirus, all of the plans call for a period of national lockdown as well as “economically ruinous levels of social distancing, a digital surveillance state of shocking size and scope, or a mass testing apparatus of even more shocking size and intrusiveness.… [or] a yo-yo between extreme lockdown and lighter forms of social distancing, continuing until a vaccine is reached.… Scott Gottlieb, the former FDA commissioner who helped craft the [AEI] plan, says he thinks something like 80% of the economy will return—that may sound like a lot, but it’s an economic collapse of Great Depression proportions.”

[PDF] National Coronavirus Response: A Road Map to Reopening. By Scott Gottlieb,et al. American Enterprise Institute. Mar. 28, 2020. 20 p.

A National and State Plan to End the Coronavirus Crisis. By Zeke Emanuel, et al. Center for American Progress. Apr. 3, 2020.

When Can We Go Out? By Danielle Allen, et al. Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. Mar. 25, 2020. 31 p.

Simulating Covid-19: Part 1. By Paul Romer. Mar. 23, 2020.

Time to Declare A Moratorium on New Housing Legislation? The Legislature should impose a 2020 moratorium on all new housing legislation, except measures to provide funding, argues Susan Kirsch, founder of Livable California in an article in CalMatters.

OSHA Issues COVID-19 Interim Enforcement Response Plan Continuing its recent trend to update employers on COVID-19 safety, on April 13, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an Interim Enforcement Response Plan for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), providing specific guidance to all OSHA Regional Administrators and State Plan Designees on how to investigate potential COVID-19 hazards. The guidance addresses how OSHA offices should allocate resources for protecting workers across all industries. Here Cal/OSHA has a plethora of resources on their COVID-19 page.

Trump Announces Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups President Donald J. Trump selected “the esteemed executives, economists, scholars, and industry leaders who together will form various Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups. These bipartisan groups of American leaders will work together with the White House to chart the path forward toward a future of unparalleled American prosperity.” On the Construction/Labor/Workforce group are representatives of IUOE, NABTU, LIUNA, Teamsters, NECA, NAHB, AGC, AFL-CIO, Bechtel, Fluor, and ABC. But no one from the Business Roundtable or US Chamber. Here

Governor Appoints New DIR Director Governor Newsom picked a new Director at Department of Industrial Relations. Katrina "Katie" S. Hagen has been in State service since 2006; served as chief deputy director at the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration since 2017. She was deputy director of operations at the California Department of Human Resources from 2015 to 2017 and chief of human resources at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System from 2011 to 2015. Hagen was adjunct faculty at the University of San Francisco from 2000 to 2011, deputy director at California Correctional Healthcare Services from 2006 to 2011 and assistant deputy director at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from 2002 to 2006. She earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of San Francisco.

Contractor Charged with $65 Million Tax Fraud An Oregon drywall contractor was charged with one count of conspiring to commit tax evasion and two counts of filing false tax returns as part of a scheme to evade paying $65 million of income and employment taxes. Read the US Attorney’s press release or Construction Dives’ coverage. The contractor had no reviews but a BBB rating of A+.


Man Accidentally Ejects Himself From Fighter Jet During Surprise Flight From the Guardian “A surprise outing in a fighter jet unnerved one defense company executive so much he accidentally ejected himself while flying at over 500km/h (320mph), an investigation into the debacle in France has found. The 64-year-old civilian got the most unwelcome ride of his life after the force of the take-off made him ‘float’ off his seat, causing him to stand up and involuntarily grab the ejection handle to steady himself.” Because of a “malfunction” the pilot was NOT ejected and landed safely. Here
Read more >>


Thursday, April 09, 2020   WECA Members Demonstrate New Safety Protocols; May Be Able to Help You

Showing the Industry How WECA Contractors Lead in COVID-19 Best Practices stations

We're gratified to hear all the stories of WECA Member Contractors taking the lead and helping contractors across the State to establish appropriate COVID-19 safety precautions and protocols on their job sites. It's also great to see photos visually demonstrating what our members are accomplishing.

The first photo shows two of Rex Moore Electrical Contractors and Engineers' tool room attendants safely creating pre-mixed bleach solution kits for their jobsites.
 

In the next photo, Royal Electric shows its fabricated hand washing/sanitizing station. They designed and built these stations so their crews would have easy access to hand-washing, even if they weren't working near the stationary hand washing stations near the restrooms; plus they wanted to give them a convenient means for disinfecting their tools. 
 

Royal Electric is interested in helping others in the industry and may be able to take orders for these fabricated hand washing/sanitizing stations for purchase. If you're interested, they encourage you to contact them at info@royalelect.com and they'll provide more information. 
They can also provide more details if you have the means to fabricate them yourself, and definitely hope you'll share the photo and idea far and wide, saying "We're all in this together to keep our crews safe."

WECA sees many of our members posting images of their safe jobsites on social media--thank you for showing the industry how it's done! If you'd like to share them with WECA as well, please send them to us at communications@goweca.com and let us know now only what you're doing to keep your employees safe, but also how you're helping our industry continue to provide essential work and services across the state.
Read more >>


Thursday, April 09, 2020   Register Today for Free Apr. 14 ThinkHR Webinar "COVID-19 Regulatory Updates and FAQ"

It can be hard to keep up with the rapidly-changing COVID-19 emergency, but ThinkHR (access to which is included as a WECA member benefit--log in to our website to sign up for access if you haven't already) helps make staying updated easier with guidance and resources like their upcoming free Apr. 14 Webinar "COVID-19 Regulatory Updates and FAQ":

ThinkHR and Mammoth will continue to offer updated COVID-19 webinars with the most current guidance and FAQs available to our users.

Join us on April 14th at 12:00 p.m. PT for our latest COVID-19 Regulatory Update and FAQ webinar.

Please note that we've made changes to our webinar programming to ensure all registrants will be able to attend the live event.

Register today

Additional COVID-19 Resources:

Download: COVID-19 Employer Survey 
Webpage: COVID-19 Crisis Center 

Can't make the webinar? Register and we'll send you a recording.
 
Read more >>


Thursday, April 09, 2020   Need to Renew License or Registration? CSLB Now Has Online License & Registration Renewal Options

Contractors State License Board Launches New Online License/Registration Renewal Options
 
SACRAMENTO - This week the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) launched two different options that will allow California's more than 283,600 licensed contractors and almost 21,000 registered Home Improvement Salespersons (HIS) to either renew their license, or to pay for their license or registration renewal online via CSLB's website.

The following two options are now available to licensees and HIS registrants:

1.       For Sole Owner licenses without a Responsible Managing Employee (RME) only

This group can now complete their license renewal using a completely paperless process. These licensees can also update their address with CSLB, if needed.  Upon approved payment, the license record will be updated immediately.  This option is only available for sole owner licensees without an RME.

2.       For all other licensees and all HIS registrants

This group can now submit their renewal payment online but will then have to mail the payment receipt along with their renewal paperwork to CSLB to complete the renewal. You will be provided with instructions about how to do this once you begin the process.  When CSLB receives the completed paperwork, the license record will be updated to show the online payment date as the renewal date.

Licensees and registrants can continue to renew their license through the mail, providing payment by check. Send to:

Contractors State License Board
P.O. Box 26000
Sacramento, CA 95826

"During this uncertain time, CSLB is committed to supporting our licensees and those seeking to get their contractor license," said CSLB Registrar David Fogt. "While our public offices and test centers are temporarily closed, we're able to offer a great many services online. We're proud to add sole owner license renewals and other license and registration renewal payments to that list."

For an updated list of CSLB services available during COVID-19 health emergency,  including all CSLB online services and frequently asked questions, please visit https://cslb.ca.gov/About_us/COVID-19.aspx.
Read more >>


Thursday, April 09, 2020   COVID-19 Response: Industry Worksite Adaptations

Content Courtesy of The San Diego Home Building Industry:

In this time of crisis, residential construction is essential to providing shelter for American families.  Critically, over 40,000 new homes are scheduled to be delivered in the next sixty days. Residential  construction is also a pillar of the American economy, providing employment for millions of U.S.  workers. This is why residential construction has been identified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) as an essential service industry  during the nation's COVID-19 response

In today's unique environment, the challenge is delivering critically needed new housing while  minimizing the health risk to our workforce. That workforce includes builders, suppliers, tradesmen  and subcontractors. We recognize that during the current crisis, additional safety procedures are  needed to protect our workforce. 

Residential construction, because of its inherent open-space workplaces, construction task  decentralization, and staggered scheduling processes has been able to quickly adapt to the challenges  presented by COVID 19. We are working with our trade partners and subcontractors, are in the  process of implementing a number of key provisional jobsite practices to promote social distancing  and help limit the potential for transmission of COVID-19. We are seeking to institute these practices  in addition to our ongoing commitment to comply with all federal, state, and local health and safety  requirements and ordinances, as well as special COVID-related recommendations made by OSHA.  

1. Instructing all workers to regularly and thoroughly wash hands with soap and water or use
alcohol-based hand sanitizers while on job sites.


2. Posting CDC guidelines for hygiene in both English and Spanish, together with any locally
required signage, in conspicuous locations on all construction sites.


3. Recommending along with our trade partners and subcontractors that all workers perform a
daily health assessment before leaving their home in the morning. If they have a fever, or are
exhibiting any other COVID-19 symptoms, or other symptoms of sickness, or if they are in a
high risk category, are required or advised to stay home, or have immediate or close family
members who are sick, they should stay at home, notify their manager/employer and follow
CDC guidelines.


4. Requiring that any worker who displays symptoms of COVID or other illness to leave jobsites
immediately, with notification given to the worker's appropriate management team.


5. Requiring that all workers on a jobsite, maintain a 6-foot distance between one another
whenever possible. Social distancing should also be maintained during all work breaks.
Workers who fail to maintain 6-foot social distancing are subject to reprimand by their
appropriate builder, trade partner, or subcontractor employer.


6. Having an on-site company supervisor who will coordinate and manage the COVID-19
response practices on each jobsite and perform regular jobsite inspections.


7. Recommending, in cooperation with our trade partners and subcontractors, that workers on
the jobsite not share equipment or tools except in instances where tools must be used by
more than one worker. Recommending that workers give special consideration to sanitizing
tools before being shared between workers.


8. Continuing to require usage of PPE when appropriate to job tasks, along with encouraging
the use of supplemental equipment, such as nitrile or latex gloves, when available.
Encouraging trade partners and subcontractors to provide supplemental PPE to their own
direct employees.


9. Staggering or otherwise altering the scheduling of trade partners to minimize the number of
trade teams working at a house at a time.


10. Prohibiting gatherings of 10 or more people at any time on the jobsite, including during lunch
and other breaks. Even under normal circumstances, houses under construction do not have
more than ten people working in them at any given time.


11. Recommending that all workers bring their own water jugs or bottled water to the jobsite;
that jobsites cease providing communal drinking water coolers for the time being, and
workers avoid sharing food or personal items.


12. Managing site deliveries to limit direct contact between workers, and to minimize the overall
headcount on the jobsite.


13. Recommending that the practice of ride-sharing be discontinued until after the health crisis
has abated.


14. Cleaning and/or sanitizing shared surfaces frequently. Ensuring that portable jobsite toilets are
regularly cleaned and/or sanitized. Recommending that cleaning techniques such as those
employing pressurized air or water sprays not be used during this time in order to ensure that
those processes do not result in the generation of bio-aerosols.


15. Recommending that homes/apartments be cleared of all workers during inspections to
lessen the potential for cross-contamination between trade teams as inspectors or
officials move between work areas.


16. Conducting only emergency/selective warranty service and customer care activity on the
interior of homes.


17. Notifying builder site supervisors, COVID-response coordinators, trade partners and
subcontractors that COVID-related local and state site requirements, when different from
these workplace adaptations, will prevail on the jobsites.


18. Establishing practices to ensure proper reporting and notifications should any worker who
has been on the worksite be exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19.


19. All workers are required to follow the CDC recommendation regarding the use of cloth face
coverings, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission for the recommended
time frame.

Content continued... learn more about the worksite adaptations being put into place here. 
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Thursday, April 09, 2020   California Energy Commission Advisory -- Home Energy System Raters and Acceptance Test Technicians

The safety and well-being of all Californians is of utmost importance to the California Energy Commission (CEC). Consistent with Governor Gavin Newsom's Executive Order to combat the COVID-19 Pandemic (N-33-20, dated March 19, 2020), the CEC advises all of its partners and stakeholders to abide by its directives. Under this order, the California Department of Public Health's (CDPH) State Public Health Officer has ordered, "all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors, as outlined at https://www.cisa.gov/identifying-critical-infrastructure-during-covid-19. In addition, and in consultation with the Director of the Governor's Office of Emergency Services, I! may designate additional sectors as critical in order to protect the health and well-being of all Californians."

The State Public Health Officer has designated essential critical infrastructure workers needed at this time to support critical sectors. This list of essential workers is updated as needed. 

Since Home Energy Rating System (HERS) raters and Acceptance Test Technicians Certification Program (ATTCP) technicians test and inspect energy efficient equipment installed in buildings, they fall under the category of inspector as defined by CDPH below: 

"Construction Workers who support the construction, operation, inspection, and maintenance of construction sites and construction projects (including housing construction)". 

All workers are instructed to follow the public health guidelines issued by CDPH and local public health officials, including social distancing and staying home when sick to protect those they serve, their coworkers, and themselves. As efforts to control the spread of the virus continue, state and local officials are regularly updating their directives and guidance. Because a person can be infected with novel coronavirus without exhibiting any symptoms, the CEC advises technicians and raters not to enter homes or buildings in which sensitive populations are, except under emergency situations. When possible, delay of HERS and ATTCP inspections, testing or field verification is recommended until such time as orders are lifted. To learn more about the latest COVID-19 response measures and directives in your area, contact your local building and public health departments. 

For more information, please contact the CEC's Energy Standards Hotline. Your understanding, cooperation, and patience in these challenging times is appreciated.
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Thursday, April 09, 2020   Find WECA-Trained Employees. Post Jobs, View Resumes w/ Our Electrical & Low Volt Industry Job Board


WECA's Electrical and Low Voltage Industry Job Board is designed to help connect individuals seeking employment in the electrical and low voltage industry with the WECA member contractors who want to hire them. 

Our job board exists for...
  • Talented electricians
  • Low voltage technicians
  • Electrician Trainees
  • Industry employees (including office personnel)
  • And the Member Contractors who want to hire them. 
This is a free, no-obligation service open to all workers seeking employment in the electrical and low voltage industry. WECA's purpose in providing this service is to help our Member Contractors find the qualified workers they need. 

 Post a job today!
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Thursday, April 09, 2020   Summer 2020 Courses Now Available for Online Enrollment!

We've got great news for your Electrician Trainees and Journeymen -- WECA's Summer 2020 Electrician Trainee and Journeyman Continuing Education courses are now available online for enrollment. WECA is pleased to be able to provide online education to your employees now, more than ever.

Refer your Electrician Trainees to the Electrician Trainee course catalog here.

Refer your Journeymen to the Journeyman Continuing Education course catalog here.

And as always, you or your employees may enroll for courses over the phone at (877) 444-9322, in person, or via email. Many GetWired! courses fill fast, so be sure to enroll early to secure a (virtual) seat!

If you or your employees have any questions--or if you're sponsoring their education and want to make sure you get all the member contractor discounts available to you on their tuition--please call us at (877) 444-9322 or email us at info@goweca.com.
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Thursday, April 09, 2020   COVID-19 Resources for Member Contractors

Supplemental Toolbox Talks COVID-19
Coronavirus Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 in Construction Workplace
COVID-19 Safety Meeting Outlines
COVID-19 Toolbox Talks for Subs
Fact Sheet for Pandemics
Marek Brother Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 Action Plan
Pandemic Preparedness - Coronavirus
Coronavirus - Workplace, School and Home Guidance
COVID-19 Tool Cleaning Protocols
COVID-19 Print Resources
COVID-19 Fact Sheet
United States Department of Labor: COVID-19
CDC COVID-19 Risk Assessment Flowchart
CALPASC HR 6201 Guidance
EDD Coronavirus Resources for WECA Community
Contractors State License Board Encourages Licensees to Donate PPE During COVID-19 Emergency
*  WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
* COVID-19 Federal Paid Leaves Explained
 * Get Your Editable Essential Work Permission Slips for Yourself and Your Employees Here
Show the Industry How WECA Contractors Lead in Best Practices for Jobsite Safety During COVID-19
WECA Special Update 4-1-20: New Carpooling and Facemask Recommendations; Sonoma County Joins In On New Bay Area Restrictions; New Requirements in Los Angeles for Comprehensive COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan; Two New Guides to CARES Act from the U.S. Chamber 
Coronavirus: Read the Yuba County and Sutter County Stay-at-Home Orders, issued April 7, 2020
*  OSHA's "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" and Other Resources; Includes Spanish Versions to Help You Reach All Employees

These, and more, plus class scheduling updates for your apprentices and students, are always available on WECA's COVID-19 Advisory Page.
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Tuesday, April 07, 2020   Coronavirus: Read the Yuba County and Sutter County Stay-at-Home Orders, issued April 7, 2020

Yesterday, Yuba County and Sutter County issued a stay-at-home order which exempts most construction. We have included the relevant section of the order below, as well as a link to the order in its entirety.

Content Courtesy of Sutter County:

4. All businesses with a facility in the County, except Essential Businesses as defined below in Section 13, are directed to cease all activities at facilities located within the County except Minimum Basic Operations, as defined in Section 13. For clarity, all businesses may also continue operations consisting exclusively of employees or contractors performing activities at their own residences (i.e., working from home). All Essential Businesses are strongly encouraged to remain open. But Essential Businesses are directed to maximize the number of employees who work from home. Essential Businesses may only assign those employees who cannot perform their job duties from home to work outside the home. Businesses that include an Essential Business component at their facilities alongside non-essential components must, to the extent feasible, scale down their operations to the Essential Business component only; provided, however, that mixed retail businesses that are otherwise allowed to operate under this Order may continue to stock and sell non-essential products. To the greatest extent feasible, Essential Businesses shall comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in Section 13 below, including, but not limited to, when any customers are standing in line.

13. Definitions and Exemptions. a. For purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence only to perform any of the following "Essential Activities." But people at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and people who are sick are urged to stay in their residence to the extent possible except as necessary to seek medical care. Essential Activities are:

 c. For purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence to provide any services or perform any work necessary to the operations and maintenance of "Essential Infrastructure," including, but not limited to, public works construction, construction of housing, airport operations, water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil refining, roads and highways, public transportation, solid waste facilities(including collection, removal, disposal and processing), cemeteries, mortuaries, crematoriums, internet, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services), provided that they carry out those services or that work in compliance with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in this Section, to the extent possible.
xii. Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the habitability, safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and not for cosmetic or other purposes, Essential Activities, and Essential Businesses;
xiv. Construction, but only of the types listed in this subparagraph below: 1. Projects immediately necessary to the maintenance, operation, or repair of Essential Infrastructure and housing; 2. Projects associated with Healthcare Operations, including creating or expanding Healthcare Operations, provided that such construction is directly related to the COVID-19 response; 3. Construction of new housing; 4. Public works projects if specifically designated as an Essential Governmental Function by the City/County Administrator in consultation with the Health Officer; 5. Shelters and temporary housing, but not including hotels or motels; 6. Projects immediately necessary to provide critical noncommercial services to individuals experiencing homelessness, elderly persons, persons who are economically disadvantaged, and persons with special needs; 7. Construction necessary to ensure that existing construction sites that must be shut down under this Order are left in a safe and secure manner, but only to the extent necessary to do so; and 8. Construction or repair necessary to ensure that residences and buildings containing Essential Businesses are safe, sanitary, or habitable to the extent such construction or repair cannot reasonably be delayed;

To learn more and read the rest of the order, click here.
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Tuesday, April 07, 2020   OSHA's "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" and Other Resources

Includes Spanish Versions to Help You Reach All Employees
 

OSHA has made available a series of publications pertaining to COVID-19 in the workplace which may be of use to your business, including "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19," as well as posters and other resources on topics such as "Ten Steps All Workplaces Can Take to Reduce Risk of Exposure to Coronavirus." 

All of these publications are also available in Spanish, which may be helpful to you in ensuring that all of your employees understand this important messaging.
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Tuesday, April 07, 2020   GetWired! Labs to Be Held Online Through At Least May 3rd; Online Schedule Extended


If you have employees enrolled in WECA's GetWired program, you can rest assured that they will be able to complete all classes in which they're enrolled or intend to enroll. While GetWired! is largely delivered online already, the WECA Team has rapidly developed new interactive lessons to fulfill the learning objectives of labs which are normally hands-on, but which will be delivered in an alternate online format until such time as COVID-19 Stay-at-Home orders are lifted and WECA can resume delivering in-person class experiences.

We have extended our plans to deliver GetWired labs online through at least May 3rd. Trainees and other students in affected classes will be notified directly, but you and your students can always stay apprised of the latest class scheduling changes on our  COVID-19 Advisory Page. Students will attend the online version of their labs from home on the same date that onsite labs were scheduled.
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Tuesday, April 07, 2020   Our Growing Collection of Resources for Our Members on COVID-19

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Monday, March 23, 2020   WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors

On March 4, Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a State of Emergency to exist in California as a result of the threat of COVID-19. On March 19, he issued Executive Order N-33-20 that directed – with specific exceptions – “all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence.”

The order excepted activities “needed to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors.” These 16 critical infrastructure sectors are:
  • Chemical Sector
  • Commercial Facilities Sector
  • Communications Sector
  • Critical Manufacturing Sector
  • Dams Sector
  • Defense Industrial Base Sector
  • Emergency Services Sector
  • Energy Sector
  • Financial Services Sector
  • Food and Agriculture Sector
  • Government Facilities Sector
  • Healthcare and Public Health Sector
  • Information Technology Sector
  • Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste Sector
  • Transportation Systems Sector
  • Water and Wastewater Systems Sector
The Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During Covid-19 Response issued by CISA on March 19, makes clear that construction is an important component of these sectors. I would point out that the memorandum does include the following disclaimer: this list is advisory in nature. It is not, nor should it be considered to be, a federal directive or standard in and of itself.

Additionally, while not part of N-33-20, the State’s COVID-19 website includes “construction, including housing construction.” as specifically exempt industries from the “stay-at-home” order. I would point out that inasmuch as this language is not in N-33-20, it could be changed as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves and the State reacts (it has already changed once since the release of N-33-20).

For instance, the State COVID website earlier said “Depending on the conditions in their area, local officials may enforce stricter public health orders. But they may not loosen the state’s order.” It now just says “This is a state-wide order.” This suggests the ongoing, internal debate whether more restrictive local requirements supersede the State’s order. This is important as some localities have set more stringent local standards than the State’s.

In addition to guidance from the State of California and the federal government, the Associated General Contractors Association of America and JD Supra also provided clarification on the construction industry's essential role during theCOVID-19 crisis.

Finally, employers have a general obligation, even if exempt from “stay-at-home” orders, to follow best practices to protect their employees and their families. The OSHA/DHS has developed a guidance for preparation of workplace, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has compiled resources for large and small business alike on effective ways to combat the coronavirus.

WECA also suggests members consider the following guidance. Contractors and jobsite safety personnel should take specific steps to increase hygiene on the jobsite, such as:
  1. Adding sanitary facilities (toilet and hand washing stations with soap and hand sanitizer provided). Workers should both wash their hands with soap for twenty seconds and use hand sanitizer often. The CDC has guidelines on handwashing.
  2. Clean jobsites including disinfecting handrails, doorknobs, equipment and tools on a regular basis.
  3. Instead of having group safety meetings, and to keep the suggested social distance, hold smaller individual safety meetings at the jobsite maintaining social distancing guidelines.
  4. Keep separation of at least 6 feet on the job and always during rest and break periods and lunches; there should be no group gatherings and limit the number of persons in a single occupied space (such as elevators).
  5. Workers should bring a lunch from home and stay away from congested lunch trucks and coffee shops. Go directly from work to home and vice versa and minimize contact with the general public.
  6. Workers should wear and utilize all safety equipment available on the jobsite.
Social distancing is essential by having smaller construction crews and, if possible, staggering shifts.

If these guidelines cannot be met or a project is in tight quarters, or in contact with the general public, consideration should be given to shutting the construction project down until safer conditions exist. Likewise, if you or your workers note other contractors are not following safe procedures, you will need to consider removing your crew.

Some reminders to share with your team:
  1. If you are sick, stay home and don’t show up to work.
  2. Don’t shake hands when greeting others.
  3. Stay six feet away from others.
  4. Avoid sick people.
  5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  6. Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, this is the most effective way to kill germs; using a hand sanitizer that contains not less than 70% alcohol in the interim.
You may also want to consider some policies or discussions about the theft or hoarding of construction job site bathroom, hygiene, and sanitation materials. These items are hard to find in retail shops, they are in short supply for the contractors, and must be used to keep the construction sites safe and clean.

Something else for your consideration:
  • If an employee is confirmed to have coronavirus or similar disease, the employer shall notify all employees who were believed to be in contact with this individual and take actions consistent with appropriate protocols to prevent the further spread of the disease.
  • We have heard that Cal-OSHA has cautioned that any incidence of illness associated with COVID-19 and workplace exposure could be incorporated in the employers’ experience modification.
  • Employers may want to ask their employment law attorney for language to incorporate in messaging with employees that showing up to work under the emergency order construction exemption is “voluntary” to reduce potential future claims that you forced employment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Monday, March 16, 2020   Changes to GetWired Onsite Labs, Trainee and Journeyman Class Scheduling in Response to COVID-19

The health and safety of our Electrician Trainee, Journeyman Continuing Education, and General students is a top concern at WECA, and we have been closely watching news and recommendations from the CDC and state and local authorities. We are taking measures to ensure that WECA continues to serve its students with a minimum of disruption, while also prioritizing health and safety.
    Please review the information below for changes to upcoming onsite lab scheduling and in-person classroom courses, in response to the growing spread of COVID-19 in California.
    The good news for Trainees and Journeymen enrolled in our programs is that most of our class delivery is already online. Online classes will continue to be delivered as scheduled with no interruption, including all evening GetWired classes. Alternate arrangements are offered for onsite lab days; please read below for details specific to your course.
    WECA will be postponing or rescheduling most in-person classroom courses (such as Two Day Exam Prep) scheduled for the remainder of March and April, 2020.
For those students enrolled in the Basic Motor Controls (BMC) Part 2 class in Rancho Cordova which has its final class day scheduled for Saturday March 21st: 
  • WECA will deliver the final day of this class at our Rancho Cordova location as scheduled . 
  • WECA staff and instructors are following all recommended precautions to keep our facilities clean and sanitized. Students are asked to join us in stringent application of best practices for avoiding the spread of COVID-19.
  • Students who would prefer to transfer into a later instance of BMC 2 may do so at no additional charge. Please contact WECA to arrange your transfer.

 
For those students currently enrolled in GetWired 301, with a lab day scheduled for Saturday April 3rd. 
  • Your lab, an introduction to commercial blueprint reading, will be conducted entirely online.
  • Your lab date and times remain identical.
  • WECA will ship you your tablet, loaded with blueprints, in advance of your lab date.
  • WECA will send you confirmation of your login instructions for your remote lab.
For those students currently enrolled in GetWired 102, with a lab day scheduled for Saturday April 25th. 
  • We are working on a plan to deliver your lab experience online.
  • Your lab date and times will remain identical.
  • WECA will send you confirmation of your login instructions for your remote lab and other details shortly.
For those students enrolled in Two Day Exam Prep on April 18th in Rancho Cordova or Riverside. 
  • WECA is cancelling these class instances.
  • You may transfer into an upcoming Two Day Exam Prep instance with no transfer fees.
  • You may also transfer into an upcoming GetWIred 404 Exam prep instance with no transfer fees and at no additional cost. (GetWired 404 is entirely online and delves even more deeply into preparation for the State certification exam).
  • You may request a full refund.
For those students enrolled in Basic Motor Controls Part 1 in Rancho Cordova, beginning April 25th, or Basic Motor Controls Part 2 in San Diego, beginning April 18th:
  • WECA is cancelling these class instances.
  • You may transfer into an upcoming Basic Motor Controls instance with no transfer fees.
  • You may request a full refund.

        The situation around COVID-19 is rapidly evolving and WECA's class delivery plans are subject to further modifications based upon subsequent advice from authorities. We're glad to be able to deliver our regularly-scheduled online classes without interruption. Please follow WECA's communications closely for further updates, as we will do our best to rapidly communicate any further changes to you. Thank you for your patience and solidarity as we all work together to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on our community.
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