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San Diego organizations continue COVID-19 outreach efforts to essential workers

Organizations continue informing workers about their right to paid COVID-19 sick leave. KPBS North County reporter Tania Thorne met with organizations today continuing outreach efforts.

Local organizations continue outreach efforts to educate communities on vaccines, paid sick leave, and testing.

On Wednesday, nonprofits and state agencies met at the County of San Diego office in Escondido to announce the Worker Week of Action, aimed to increase awareness of workers' rights when it comes to COVID-19.

Arcela Nuñez-Alvarez with Universidad Popular was at the meeting and said volunteers have reached over 300,000 people through their outreach.


"We dropped what we were doing and answered the call to make sure that our target industries and their families, and their neighbors, especially front line essential workers, had the access they needed to vaccines, vaccine information, and to ensure that every person in our county who wanted a vaccine, had access to one," she said.

RELATED: San Diego Unified School Board approves COVID-19 vaccine resolution

Nuñez-Alvarez said different organizations worked together to make sure information got distributed in different languages, especially to marginalized communities.

"Material... was available in 24 different languages allowing our message to reach individuals who normally don't have access to this information.

The latest message organizations are pushing out to communities, is the right to paid COVID-19 sick leave for California workers, regardless of their immigration status.


Patricia Alatorre with the Labor Commissioner's Office said workers are eligible for up to 80 hours of paid COVID-19 sick leave.

"The 2022 supplemental paid sick leave law for COVID-19 covers workers at businesses with 26 or more employees who cannot work from home. The law applies to COVID related sick leave from January 1st to September 30th, 2022," she said.

Alatorre said it is illegal for employers to fire, reduce hours, or retaliate against workers for asking to use the paid sick leave.

Workers can call the Labor Commissioner's office at 833-LCO-INFO for questions on paid sick leave or to file a wage claim or retaliation complaint.