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Here are resources for furloughed Bitwise Industries employees

Bitwise Industries
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Are you a San Joaquin Valley Bitwise employee who was furloughed? Here are some resources that may help you.

This guide includes information about workers rights, how to recover unpaid wages, help with unemployment applications, resource fairs, mental health services, community offerings and more.

Maybe you’re not a furloughed Bitwise employee but would like to help in some way. Employees have set up a GoFundMe to raise money that will be distributed equally to those workers who opt in.

If you’re an employer interested in hiring any furloughed Bitwise employees, you can browse a candidate list here.

Workers rights

San Joaquin Valley attorney Amparo Cid has put together a webinar and presentation to inform workers of their rights.

The presentation reviews six laws that provide protections to workers, explains what wage theft is, how to recover unpaid wages and file a wage claim. It explains how to report a labor law violation.

The Labor Commissioner’s Office is the state agency that will decide your claim for unpaid wages. It enforces labor standards so that employees don’t work in substandard or illegal conditions. You can report labor law violations to the Labor Commissioner’s Office.

  • View the slide deck here.
  • See instructions to file a wage claim in English and Spanish.
  • Download the form to file a wage claim in English and Spanish.
  • Download the form to report labor law violations here.

For questions or more information, email info@cidmacedo.com.

Filing for unemployment

To learn more about filing for unemployment benefits, visit the state Employment Development Departmentat edd.ca.gov.

The offices of Assemblymembers Joaquin Arambula and Jim Patterson will help Bitwise employees file applications for unemployment benefits. Staffers encourage you to seek help submitting your application and connecting with other state resources, such as food assistance and health insurance.

For Arambula’s office, call (559) 445-5532. To contact Patterson’s office, call (559) 446-2029.

Food assistance

CalFresh, known federally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), provides monthly food benefits to individuals and families with low income. For more information, call (877) 847-3663 or visit www.getcalfresh.org.

The Central California Food Bank has a food locator tool on its website that shows fresh produce and dry good food pantries. Simply type in your ZIP code or home address to find the nearest pantry, and don’t forget to check the distribution calendar as well. There are no eligibility requirements to access these food pantries. However, some may ask you to fill out a demographic questionnaire.

Resource fairs

Fresno

Workforce Connection in Fresno is hosting service orientations at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday, June 9 at its office, 1455 E. Shaw Ave. in Fresno.

Several agencies will provide resources including the California Employment Development Department, Fresno County Department of Social Services, Fresno County Library, California Low Cost Auto Insurance and Community Housing Council.

Attendees can learn how to apply for unemployment benefits and state training benefits through the Employment Development Department; access helpful job databases and use computer centers through the Fresno County Library. Attendees can learn about scholarships and job placement services through Workforce Connection.

Workforce Connection in Fresno offers several employment services, like career counseling and job search assistance, workshops on resume preparation and interviewing skills and educational and training opportunities.

For more information, contact Workforce Connection’s rapid response coordinator Garret Lecat at (559) 230-4433 or glecat@workforce-connection.com.

The city of Fresno in partnership with Workforce Connection will host a job fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, June 16 at Fresno City Hall, 2600 Fresno Street in downtown. The job fair will be located in the north and south breezeways.

Bakersfield

Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez organized a similar resource fair for Bakersfield Bitwise employees from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 7 at the Kern County Administration Building, located at 115 Truxtun Ave. in Bakersfield.

Several agencies will provide resources there, including the California Employment Development Department, Community Action Partnership of Kern, Kern County Child Support Services, Kern County Employers’ Training Resource, Kern County Human Services.

Willis and Williams Design Studio will take headshots for free for one hour, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the resource fair.

Mental health services

National Suicide Prevention hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Panic Disorder hotline: 1-800-647-2642

Substance Abuse hotline: 1-800-662-4357

Several mental health providers and practitioners are offering free services to furloughed Bitwise employees.

Fresno

Kelsey Garcia, a licensed marriage and family therapist, will host a free support group to provide stress and anxiety management training and other coping tools. The support group will be from 1-2:30 p.m. Friday, June 9 at 6865 N. Maple Ave. in Fresno. RSVP by Wednesday by contacting Kelsey at (559) 367-1708. To learn more, visit https://www.wellspringifc.com/.

Gidai Maaza, a Fresno-based licensed marriage and family therapist, also is offering his services to Bitwise employees. He offers virtual and in-person sessions. Visit his website at gmaazalmft.com or reach out to him on Instagram at @gmaazalmft.

Bakersfield

The Open Door Network will host a grief support group with therapists from 10 a.m. to noon at 1921 19th Street in downtown Bakersfield. The organization held a session in which case managers offered help with housing and rental support. For more information, call (661) 322-9199.

Other community support

Root Access Hackerspace is accepting donations and assembling a needs pantry, including dry and canned foods and hygiene products, for furloughed Bitwise employees. Root Access is typically open from noon to 10 p.m. and located at 1476 N. Van Ness Ave. in Fresno. Root Access also is opening up its space to Bitwise employees who may want a space to work.

The Fresno High Flea Market is offering free booth space from 5-9 p.m. June 10 to Bitwise employees who would like to sell art, crafts, yard sale items, upcycled goods and more. Email fresnohighflea@gmail.com for more information on how to sign up. Make sure to mention Bitwise in the email.

Blue Moon Yoga & Juice Bar and True Rest Float Spa are offering free yoga for one month and one free float to Bitwise employees. To redeem, email promo@bluemoonyogafresno.com or fresno@truerest.com.

This guide was prepared by Central Valley Journalism Collaborative reporter Brianna Vaccari, who can be reached at brianna@cvlocaljournalism.org.  

Brianna Vaccari is an accountability and watchdog reporter for the Central Valley Journalism Collaborative, a nonprofit newsroom launched in 2021 by the James B. McClatchy Foundation.