COVID-19 Resources for Employers Posted March 18, 2020
As businesses and employees struggle to manage the ongoing COVID-19 fallout, LightGabler has compiled some of the available resources and information to help your business and your employees navigate options:
Furloughs: Employers can implement temporary furloughs (shutdowns) of up to 10 days without triggering a "termination." If you need to shut down operations immediately without implementing full layoffs, consider a temporary furlough and reassess your next steps as more information is forthcoming. Employees are eligible for unemployment benefits in the event of a work shutdown; the California EDD has suspended the usual seven-day waiting period. Click here for more information. Contact LightGabler for sample language to use in notifying employees of a furlough.
Layoffs: If business operations cannot continue and positions must be eliminated, employers can lay off employees. Remember that you must pay all final wages and accrued vacation pay in the event of a layoff. Provide employees with EDD information to apply for unemployment benefits. Contact LightGabler for sample language to use in notifying employees of a virus-related layoff.
Rapid Response Services: Rapid response teams provide early intervention assistance to companies to avert potential layoffs and on-site services to assist workers. For assistance, contact your local America Job Centers of California; find your local AJCC here.
EDD Work Share Program: Consider applying for the EDD Work Share program, which permits employers to reduce pay and hours of work for a temporary period and provides employees with unemployment benefits during this temporary period, without the need for full job loss. This is a useful option for businesses that need temporary relief but expect to ramp up again. Click here.
WARN Relief: For employers with 75 or more employees, California WARN would typically require at least 60 days' advance notice of a mass layoff. The 60-day WARN notice requirement has been waived as a part of the most recent emergency order; specific notice requirements still apply.
SBA Disaster Loan Funding: The SBA is processing virus-related relief loans for eligible businesses. Disaster relief is nationwide; long-term loans can be obtained up to a 30-year term and rates are at 3.75%. The deadline is 12/16/20; apply early as needed. Click here.
Tax Assistance: Employers experiencing a COVID-19 hardship can obtain an extension of time from the EDD to file their state payroll report and/or deposit payroll taxes, without penalty of interest. Written requests for extension must be received within 60 days of the original delinquent date. Call the EDD Taxpayer Assistance hotline at 1-888-745-3886 (hearing impaired (TTY): 1-800-547-9565).
Protecting Workers: for information from Cal-OSHA on how to protect workers from coronavirus, click here.
Planning, Preparing for and Responding to Coronavirus for Employers: For information from the CDC on how to plan, prepare for and respond to virus issues in the workplace, click here.
Paid Leave and Wage Issues: For information on use of paid time off and wage and hour issues related to coronavirus, the California Department of Industrial Relations provides FAQs to employers. Click here.
EEOC: For pandemic flu and related discrimination guidance from the EEOC; click here.
FMLA: For information on the application of FMLA to COVID-19, click here.
Executive Orders and News from the Governor: For the latest updates from our governor, see Governor Newsom's newsroom; click here.
Labor & Workforce Development Agency: This agency provides guidance for employers and workers. For information specific to COVID-19, click here.
Mental Health Issues: For mental health and psychosocial considerations during COVID-19, click here.
EDC-VC: For employers in Ventura and Santa Barbara county, the Economic Development Collaborative has put out a business resource guide. Click here.
California Association for Local Economic Development: Economic Development Response & Resources for employers dealing with COVID-19, click here.
LightGabler will provide additional information about new federal legislation in response to COVID-19 in a subsequent blast. For further information or assistance with any of the above topics, contact the attorneys at LightGabler.