California’s EDD is trying to help workers and employers affected by the COVID-19 (Coronavirus). As you know, everything we think we know seems to be changing throughout every day, but here is what is happening now.
Next post: the pending assistance from the Federal government (don’t hold your breath for it actually being much help, though, given the many limitations and exemptions).
For California workers, the EDD provides the following:
A sick or quarantined worker who unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), can file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim. DI provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week.
The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so individuals can collect DI benefits for the first week they are out of work.
A worker unable to work because they are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19(certified by a medical professional), can file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim. PFL provides up to six weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages because they need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week.
A worker who has a child whose school has closed (all of them!) and who must work to be home, may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits. Eligibility considerations include if the worker has no other care options and is unable to continue working your normal hours remotely.
If an employer has reduced a worker’s hours or shut down operations due to the virus can file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim. UI provides partial wage replacement benefit payments to workers who lose their job or have their hours reduced, through no fault of their own. Workers who are temporarily unemployed due to COVID-19 and expected to return to work with their employer within a few weeks are not required to actively seek work each week. However, they must remain able and available and ready to work during their unemployment for each week of benefits claimed and meet all other eligibility criteria. Eligible individuals can receive benefits that range from $40-$450 per week.
This is another benefit for which the one-week unpaid waiting period is waived by the Governor’s Executive Order.
For California employers, the EDD has information on protecting workers from COVID-19.
Also, employers experiencing a slowdown in their businesses or services as a result of the coronavirus impact on the economy may apply for the UI Work Sharing Program. This program allows employers to seek an alternative to layoffs — retaining their trained employees by reducing their hours and wages that can be partially offset with UI benefits. Workers of employers who are approved to participate in the Work Sharing Program receive the percentage of their weekly UI benefit amount based on the percentage of hours and wages reduced, not to exceed 60 percent.
Employers experiencing a hardship as a result of COVID-19 may request up to a 60-day extension of time from the EDD to file their state payroll reports and/or deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest. A written request for extension must be received within 60 days from the original delinquent date of the payment or return.
These are difficult times for all – we need to all be our best to each other!
Hi Jeanine! Thank you for the information. Does this apply to exempt level employees as well if an employer must shut down?
Yes – but the rules are all pretty convoluted right now. . . more to come I hope! Jeanine