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California Governor Orders Virus Leave for Grocery, Farm Workers

April 16, 2020, 10:21 PM

California grocery, food delivery, and farm workers will receive two weeks of Covid-19 supplemental paid sick leave under a new executive order.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed the order Thursday, saying it would apply to the entire chain of workers who bring food to consumers.

“I want you to know you’re not disposable, you are essential, and you’re valued,” Newsom said at his daily press conference. “And I want from the bottom of my heart to extend my deep admiration appreciation to you.”

The order applies to food workers who contract the virus and those who must stop working to avoid infection.

In making the announcement, Newsom highlighted the support of two groups that are often at odds on labor issues: The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and the California Grocers Association, which represents grocery stores.

“They’ve worked together in a collaborative spirit,” Newsom said.

The United Farm Workers labor group also backed the move.

“Farm worker families and the families of farmers work, play, shop and worship together,” UFW President Teresa Romero said in a statement. “Protecting these small, tightknit communities is vital to the protection of our food supply.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Tiffany Stecker in Sacramento, Calif. at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Karl Hardy at; Martha Mueller Neff at