Answers to Your "Stay At Home Orders" Questions About Employment and Taxes.

March 20, 2020

 

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 June 15, 2020 for individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19.

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? 

  • You can use paid sick leave if your job has it.

  • You can file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim.

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).

 

Questions and answers about taxes

Is the deadline for filing California tax returns extended? 

Yes. Taxpayers (individuals and businesses) affected by the coronavirus pandemic can file and pay by June 15, 2020. (For all deadlines between March 15 and June 15, 2020.) To claim this extension:

Taxpayers claiming the special COVID-19 relief should write the name of the state of emergency (for example, COVID-19) in black ink at the top of the tax return to alert FTB of the special extension period. If taxpayers are e-filing, they should follow the software instructions to enter disaster information.

 

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