Monthly Archives: March 2020

IRS Tax PAYMENT (not filing) deadline extended to July 15, 2020

The IRS announced that the April 15, 2020 tax payment deadline for individuals and businesses has been extended to July 15, 2020.  This does not extend the time to file a return, but if you act promptly, you can request a six month extension to file.

(This is not for state taxes!)



Relief regarding mass terminations from Governor Newsom

A new Executive Order signed by Gov. Newsom may be helpful for any mass-reduction/layoff caused by COVID-19 (but as usual, be mindful of any federal law that may still limit steps you can take).


Disability Laws and COVID-19

While California is much more protective of disabled (or perceived to be disabled) employees, the EEOC’s “What You Should Know about the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and COVID-19” can be helpful for general guidance about your employment practices. Meaning, if what you want to do runs afoul of the EEOC, it will likely run afoul of California’s rules. But  . . . beware that California may have even stricter rules – so even if you are safe under the EEOC’s rules, you may be violating California laws. Got it?

Next . . it looks like the Senate passed the second version of the House’s COVID 19 relief bill. We’re reviewing it now and hope to update the blog soon.

COVAD-19 info for California employers and workers

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!

Gun Violence and Your Business

Worried that a coworker or employee is a harm to self or others? For 2020, in addition to the workplace violence restraining order, a coworker or employer should also consider a Gun Violence Restraining Order.

On Sunday, March 1, 2020, the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety (DPS) received a report of a United Parcel Service (UPS) employee sending threatening text messages to his employer. The text messages indicated the employee was planning a mass shooting at the UPS facility in Sunnyvale. After obtaining a search warrant for the employee’s house, Sunnyvale detectives found over 20,000 rounds of handgun and rifle ammunition, numerous high capacity magazines, 5 tactical style rifles, 1 shotgun, 3 handguns and body armor. Several tactical backpacks containing ammunition were staged at the front door of the apartment where the suspect resides.

Why is this on an employment law blog? Well, the issue of gun safety is extremely important to me. And this is a rare case where we can talk about potential gun violence rather than focusing on victims and their pain. It is also related to employment!

On January 1, 2020, AB 61 “Gun Violence Restraining Orders” took effect in California. This law authorizes an employer, a coworker who has substantial and regular interactions with the person (and with the approval of the employer), or an employee of a school, to file a petition for a one-year (or renewed) gun violence restraining order. If a court grants a petition, the person cannot have in their custody or control, cannot own or buy or possess or receive, a firearm or ammunition for a period of one year.

Judges do not award these restraining orders lightly or on weak evidence. They require clear and convincing evidence that the subject of the petition poses a significant danger of personal injury to themselves or others by having easy access to a firearm. The purpose of the law is to reduce people’s self-harm and harm to others that is enhanced by access to a firearm. Judges are extremely thoughtful and diligent in their review, balancing everyone’s rights and safety. They poke and prod at the affidavits that are submitted to establish grounds for the order and the closely review any messages or verbal statements of the employee. “Having a feeling” isn’t enough.  But if there is evidence of a credible, imminent threat, the Court will act.

If you have any questions about workplace violence restraining orders or gun violence restraining orders, contact me!