California COVID-19 Response: Employment & Taxes
Last updated March 20, 2020 at 3:26 PM
All businesses should encourage employees to stay home if sick and follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Keeping Workplaces, Homes, Schools or Commercial Establishments Safe (pdf).
California is working to support people financially affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn more in this chart of benefits available for workers affected by COVID-19.
The state has removed waiting periods for unemployment and disability insurance for Californians who lose work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, and published resources for workers affected by COVID-19.
The state has also extended the state tax filing deadline to July 15, 2020 for all California taxpayers.
Questions and answers for workers
What can I do if I can’t work because I’m sick or quarantined because of COVID-19?
- You can use paid sick leave if your job has it.
- If you’re unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19 you can file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim.
- You may also file a Worker’s Compensation Claim if you were exposed to coronavirus at work.
What kind of sick leave is available to me?
Sick leave varies by employee. For details see Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Frequently Asked Questions on laws enforced by the California Labor Commissioner’s Office.
What if my employer does not have paid sick leave?
For those not able to secure paid leave, state (California Family Rights Act) and federal laws (Family and Medical Leave Act) may qualify you for up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year.
Do I need a note or certificate from a medical provider to file for unemployment?
No, a medical certificate is not required. Here is more information on who is eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI).
What if I can’t work because I’m taking care of someone who’s sick or quarantined?
What can I do if my work hours are reduced because of COVID-19?
You can file an Unemployment Insurance claim.
What can I do if I miss work because of school closures?
- You can file an Unemployment Insurance claim.
- Other options may be available. See Benefits for Workers Impacted by COVID-19.
Questions and answers for employers
How do I maintain a safe workplace?
- Encourage sick employees to stay home.
- Establish routine cleaning throughout the workplace.
- Reduce travel. If possible, encourage video conferencing and limit larger gatherings.
- See Cal/OSHA Interim Guidance for General Industry.
- Follow CDC guidance on keeping the workplace safe (pdf).
What precautions should healthcare workers and organizations take?
How can I avoid laying off employees if my business is impacted by COVID-19?
Apply for the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Work Sharing Program.
As a small business owner, what programs are available to help me survive financially?
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans to small business suffering from the financial effects of COVID-19.
Questions and answers about taxes
Is the deadline for filing California tax returns extended?
Yes. All California taxpayers (individuals and businesses) can file and pay by July 15, 2020.
See information from the CA Franchise Tax Board for more information.
What about federal taxes? Has that deadline changed?
The federal deadline for paying taxes has been extended to July 15, 2020.
See information on the U.S. Internal Revenue Service for more information.
What about county property taxes? Has that deadline changed?
Not yet. Check with your county for updates.
Are there any tax deductions for people affected by the COVID-19 outbreak?
- CA Labor and Workforce Development Agency: Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Resources for Employers and Workers
- CA Employment Development Department: Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)
- Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus
- Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) – FAQs on laws enforced by the California Labor Commissioner’s Office
- U.S. Internal Revenue Service: Coronavirus Tax Relief