Disaster Service Worker FAQ’s
California Government Code
It is hereby declared that the protection of the health and safety and preservation of the lives and property of the people of the state from the effects of natural, man-made, or war-caused emergencies which result in conditions of disaster or extreme peril to life, property, and resources is of paramount state importance…in protection of its citizens and resources, all public employees are hereby declared to be disaster service workers…
All disaster service workers shall, before they enter upon the duties of their
employment, take and subscribe to the oath or affirmation…
What does disaster service mean?
Disaster service means all activities authorized by and carried out pursuant to the California Emergency Services Act*.
Who is included in the disaster service worker status?
All public employees are included in the disaster service worker status which are all persons employed by any county, city, state agency or public district.
What are the scope of duties of employee disaster service workers?
Any public employees performing duties as a disaster service worker shall be considered to be acting within the scope of disaster service duties while assisting any unit of the organization or performing any act contributing to the
protection of life or property or mitigating the affects of an emergency.
How are public employees assigned disaster service activities?
Public employees are assigned disaster service activities by their superiors or by law to assist the agency in carrying out its responsibilities during times of
What is the oath or affirmation referred to in the government code?
Before entering upon the duties of employment, all public employees take and subscribe to the oath or affirmation set forth in the California Constitution
that declares them to be disaster service workers in time of need.
When do public employees take the oath or affirmation?
Most public employees sign the oath or affirmation during the hiring process and it is kept with the employer.
Do public employees acting as disaster service workers get paid?
Public employees acting as disaster service workers get paid only if they have taken and subscribed to the oath or affirmation.
Can disaster service workers be sued for actions taken while performing duties?
Public employee disaster service workers for nonprofit organizations and government cannot be held liable for their actions during a disaster while acting within the scope of their responsibilities.
What if public employees are injured while acting as disaster service workers?
Claims sustained by public employees while performing disaster services shall be filed as worker compensation claims under the same authorities and
guidelines as with all employees within their agency.
Additional Resources: Disaster Service Worker Brochure