My Business - COVID-19 FAQs

Below are some common questions around COVID-19 and how it may affect your business operations, in the office and on job sites. 


Important Message: The information provided below is to address the overall industry and is not tailored to be specific to each company. We highly recommend contacting your company’s attorney for any questions or issues you may have about circumstances unique to your situation.


Where can I find out more information about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)?

What can I do if my business has slowed due to COVID-19?

According to the California Employment Development Department’s FAQs:

If COVID-19 has impacted your business or services, you can avoid potential layoffs by participating in the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Work Sharing Program. This program allows you to retain your workers by reducing their hours and wages no more than 60 percent and partially offsetting the wage loss with UI benefits. This helps you avoid the cost of recruiting, hiring, and training new workers and helps your workers keep their jobs and receive some financial support with UI benefits. You and your workers can also be prepared to quickly adjust when business improves.

What if I have to let go of some of my workers temporarily until business improves?

According to the California Employment Development Department’s FAQs:

Your workers can file for unemployment benefits as long as they are unemployed and otherwise eligible. Workers who expect to return to work for you within a few weeks are not required to actively seek work each week as long as they are able and available to return to work during their unemployment and meet all other eligibility criteria. The EDD will explain the requirements to your workers when they apply for benefits.

What can I do if I have to shut down my business permanently?

According to the California Employment Development Department’s FAQs:

If you are facing potential layoffs or plant closures, you can get help through the Rapid Response program. Rapid Response teams will meet with you to discuss your needs, help avoid layoffs where possible, and support your workers through the process. Services can include upgrades to current worker skills, customized training, career counseling, job search assistance, help with filing unemployment insurance claims, and information about education and training opportunities. For more information, refer to Rapid Response Services for Businesses Fact Sheet (DE 87144RRB) (PDF). You can also contact your local America’s Job Center of California for more information about available Rapid Response services.

What if I can’t file or pay my payroll taxes on time because of COVID-19?

According to the California Employment Development Department’s FAQs:

With the Governor’s emergency declaration, if your business is directly affected by COVID-19, you can request up to a 60-day extension to file your state payroll reports and deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest. The written request for extension, noting the impact of COVID-19, must be received within 60 days from the original delinquent date of the payment or return. For the address to send the request, along with other information, please see the State of Emergency or Disaster Fact Sheet (DE 231SED) (PDF).

You can also call the EDD Taxpayer Assistance Center with any questions you may have about your payroll tax responsibilities.

  • Toll-free from the US or Canada: 1-888-745-3886
  • TTY: 1-800-547-9565
  • Outside the US or Canada: 1-916-464-3502

What can I do to protect my workers from COVID-19?

According to the California Employment Development Department’s FAQs:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guidance for Business and Employers includes basic precautions like proper handwashing and cleaning, as well as making sure your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance. Visit Cal/OSHA Guidance on Coronavirus to learn more about workplace requirements.

Where can I find WARN letters specific to COVID-19?

Below are three WARN Notice templates to be filled out and sent to the state Employment Development Department, the Union and to individuals:

*Failure to send could be 60 days of wages and benefits to all laid off employees.

Where can I find a COVID-19 Supplemental Unemployment Plan for my company?

Click here to access a customizable template.

What if a GC or owner is requiring me to provide manpower to a job site? What should I ask of them to protect myself and are there things in my contract I should be looking for to address this during this COVID-19 pandemic?

If a general contractor or owner is asking you to comply with your contract to provide manpower to an active job site, click here for recommendations that can help ensure you are protecting your company and sending your employees to a project that has been verified as essential and safe. It also provides contract clauses that may provide you relief if you are unable to do so. 

How can I want to provide assurance to my employees that I have taken the steps necessary to ensure I take their safety on the job site serious?

Customize this letter to send to your employees to show that you have gotten confirmation that the job site is essential and safe and that you have an emergency preparedness plan and onsite protocols in place to address any issues.

What resources/templates do you have available regarding Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family Medical Leave that I can use for my company and employees?

Click on the links below to access the following customizable templates:

My employees have been ordered to “shelter in place.” Does this mean they are eligible for federal emergency paid sick leave?

Click here for insight from legal counsel.

If I bring my employees back onto our payroll under the Paycheck Protection Plan, what should I advise them to do about their current unemployment benefits?

If you are paying an employee under PPP, have them continue to file their weekly claims but report the PPP payments for those 8 weeks. You as an employer are not required to file anything with the EDD.