The certified consultants at Sierra HR Partners are here to help.


The COVID-19 pandemic has shuttered our offices, stores, factories, and farms.

As the nation now returns to work businesses must rebuild the workplace and develop better human resource practices.

The certified consultants at Sierra HR Partners are here to help. We can recruit and screen the best candidates, navigate legal compliance and other employment challenges, and improve health and safety practices.

For HR expertise and management support, contact Sierra HR Partners today.

inquiries? e-mail thomas@sierrahr.com


5/22/20 COVID-19 UPDATE


Fresno’s New Emergency Order
Late yesterday, the City of Fresno released Emergency Order 2020-17. This emergency order provides additional details about announcements made at yesterday’s press conference.

All businesses that are not prohibited by the state from operating are authorized to open to the public. Open businesses must continue to post their Social Distancing Protocol (Appendix A), and businesses must “require their employees, customers, vendors and others to wear cloth facial coverings.”

Restaurant dining rooms may reopen as of May 21, 2020, provided they 1) notify the Fresno County Department of Public Health and 2) follow city, county, and state guidelines. To notify the County, restaurants must complete the document COVID-19 Restaurant Operating Procedures and email it to EnvironmentalHealth@fresnocountyca.gov. Businesses can contact the Environmental Health Department with questions at 559.600.3357.

What Now?
Now that businesses may reopen, it is important to have a plan in place. That plan might include:

  • Background Investigations – This is not the time to take chances on applicants. Ensure you re-open effectively by hiring the right staff. Use background checks to discover what applicants haven’t told you. Sierra HR Partners provides compliant background investigation reports with a 48-hour turn-around to help you make informed decisions.
  • Written Re-employment Offers – Former employees have likely been taking advantage of lucrative unemployment benefits. These benefits draw, in part, from your business account. As you reopen, document employment offers so that employees are encouraged to come back to work rather than to continue drawing on these benefits.
  • Safety Plans – It is critical for your business to have a plan in place that details how you will prevent and respond to infection. Not only will this keep you and your customers safe, but failure to plan will risk government fines and penalties. Don’t be overwhelmed by the extensive state guidelines for your industry. Sierra HR Partners can help you develop an infection-specific plan, or to adapt COVID-19 safety measures into your current Injury and Illness Prevention Plan. Don’t let planning difficulties keep you from taking advantage of the reopening economy.


Brenda Budke goes live with KMPH FOX 26!


Our Executive Director, Brenda Budke, went live with KMPH FOX 26, to discuss the impact of COVID-19 and it’s effect on local businesses during shelter in place. Thank you for having us, FOX26!

Sierra HR Partners is here to help you through these uncertain times!

Have questions?

Give us a call at 559-431-8090 or submit a note on our contact form.


COVID-19 Update: 5/4/20


On Friday, 1 May, Fresno City Manager Wilma Quan issued Emergency Order 2020-16. This order supersedes prior orders, including the order issued 10 April. The new order is effective at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, May 7, (just after midnight Wednesday evening) and will remain in effect through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 31, 2020.

This order is largely similar to the prior Emergency Order, with the following changes:

  • The use of facial coverings is required when visiting businesses and public places, except for children under age two or those with a preventive medical condition. (3.3)
  • City parks are to be closed the weekends of Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. (
  • The category “authorized businesses” is added to “essential businesses” and “non-essential businesses.” Authorized businesses are those which are not essential but which are “still important to the economic and social well-being of the community.” (2.2)

While there are not yet specific details on what constitutes an authorized business, the City of Fresno will provide a phased plan for authorized businesses to begin reopening. The first phases will allow low- and lower-risk businesses to reopen, and later phases will allow higher-risk businesses to reopen.

In order to reopen, authorized businesses will be required to comply with Social Distancing Protocol outlined in 3.6 (section 2.5 in the previous order). This includes:

  • Limiting the number of people in the facility (3.6.1)
  • Marking six-foot increments where individuals form lines (3.6.2)
  • Providing hand-sanitizer or soap/water near entrances and throughout the facility (3.6.3)
  • Providing contactless payment systems or disinfecting devices after each use (3.6.4)
  • Disinfecting high-touch surfaces regularly (3.6.5)
  • Screening employees and visitors, but not customers, as directed by Fresno County (3.6.6)
  • Requiring employees to wear protective facial coverings (3.6.7)

Additionally, authorized businesses must post their social distancing protocol, using Appendix A (or something similar), before they will be certified and authorized to reopen. This posting must be at least 11×17 inches.

A more detailed list of essential and non-essential businesses is available on this page at fresno.gov. That page should be updated this week with more information on authorized businesses.

News Release

Emergency Order 2020-16


COVID-19 UPDATE: 4/10/20


Today, Fresno City Manager, Wilma Quan, issued a new Emergency Order 2020-13, which supersedes the prior Emergency Order of March 18, 2020. The new Order is effective Saturday, April 11, 2020 (Friday, just after midnight) and will remain in effect through 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6, 2020.
The intent of this Order is to ensure the maximum number of people self-isolate at home to slow the spread of COVID-19, and preempt critical strain on healthcare services.
Significant business changes include:

  • Essential Businesses are directed to maximize the number of employees who telework. (2.3)
  • “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 and wholesale businesses that are otherwise under this order may continue to stock and sell non-essential products.” (2.4, emphasis added)
  • Essential businesses must post their Social Distancing Protocol (Appendix A) as a notice by Wednesday night. The posting size must be at minimum 11×17 inches. Businesses may be asked to provide proof of implementation. (2.5)
  • Specifically, Essential Businesses must (as applicable):
    • Limit the number of people in the facility (2.5.1)
    • Mark 6-foot increments where there are lines (2.5.2)
    • Provide hand sanitizer, soap/water, etc. near the entrance and at other locations (2.5.3)
    • Provide contactless payment systems or disinfect after each use (2.5.4, emphasis added)
    • Disinfect high-touch surfaces regularly (2.5.5)
    • Screen employees and visitors as directed by Fresno County (2.5.6)
    • Require employees to wear protective facial coverings (2.5.7)
  • A more detailed list of essential and non-essential businesses is posted on the City of Fresno’s website at www.fresno.gov)

The timing of this order also coincides with restricting multi-household gatherings this Easter weekend. As per Section 2.6: “All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited, except for the limited purposes as expressly permitted herein. Nothing in this Order prohibits members of a household or living unit from engaging in Essential Activities together.”

The penalties for non-compliance with this Emergency Order may result in business closure.  As per Section 2.8.23: “For repeated or egregious violations of the required closure, limitations, or social distancing requirements at a business location or facility, a police officer, with the approval of the Police Chief, or designee, or a code enforcement officer, with the approval of the City Attorney, or designee, may summarily order a business to terminate operations and close until further notice, or for the duration of the emergency.”