Employment – COVID-19 Issues
Last updated August 20, 2021
Below are selected websites from reliable sources, vetted by our Law Librarians. This is not an exhaustive list of information available on this topic, but a starting point to provide you with basic information during this pandemic.
April 16, 2021 – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that he has signed legislation to create a statewide policy for the rehiring of workers laid-off by the pandemic, bolstering the state’s efforts to ensure an equitable recovery from the pandemic. SB 93 requires employers in the hospitality and business services industries, including hotels, airports and large event centers, to offer new positions to qualified former employees laid off due to COVID-19 within five business days, through 2024. Read more here.
March 19, 2021 – Governor Newsom Signs Legislation to Ensure Access to Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for Workers Impacted by the Pandemic. Building on the state’s action to expand paid sick days protections for California’s workforce during the pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom today signed SB 95, legislation to ensure access to up to 80 hours of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave for eligible employees, including those advised to quarantine or isolate and those caring for COVID-impacted family members. Read more here.
On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law. Among other things, this Act will provide emergency loans to distressed businesses such as air carriers; funds grants and technical assistance for small businesses; places limits on requirements for employers to provide paid leave; delays due dates for payroll taxes and makes other tax related rule revisions. The link below provides a summary and full text of the Act:
Summary Chart of Benefits for Workers Impacted by COVID-19 (includes eligibility information and how to file a claim for disability, paid family leave and sick leave, unemployment and workers compensation):https://www.labor.ca.gov/coronavirus2019/
Employment Development Department FAQ’s about COVID-19 and the workplace: https://edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/faqs.htm
FAQ’s about labor laws in California and COVID-19 (sick leave and other paid leave, questions employers can ask, and retaliation):
What to do if you lose your job or hours due to COVID-19:
OnwardCA.org – resources and job opportunities for workers in California who have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic:
U.S. Dept. of Labor Coronavirus Resources (workplace safety; wages, hours and leave; unemployment and general resources:
National Conference of State Legislatures
Information on the impact of COVID-19 on employment and labor issues, including licensing, sick leave, unemployment insurance and teleworking.
California Lawyers Association Videos – Employment Law
California Lawyers Association has produced several informative videos on employment concerns related to COVID-19, including videos on Employer Concerns, Disability Accommodation, Wage and Hour Risks, Employee Travel, Employee Benefits, Employee Health and Safety, Labor Law Basics and more.
COVID-19 and the American Workplace/Dept. of Labor:
COVID-19 and the Fair Labor Standards Act (Wage and Hour Law)/Dept. of Labor:
COVID-19 and Employment Law Questions – National Law Review:
COVID-19 Information from United Farm Workers
This website provides a variety of resources for agricultural workers including health information and information about workers’ rights during stay-at-home orders, and more.
Covid-19 Update: Legal Information for Workers during the Coronavirus Pandemic
Worker’s Guide: Your Rights During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Los Angeles Law Library
COVID-19 Related Employment Lawsuits – Jackson Lewis Employment LitWatch (tracking complaints filed in federal and state courts alleging labor and employment law violations related to COVID-19):
Stanford Law School Compilation of Legal Memoranda Related to COVID-19:
Stanford Law School created a searchable database of memos written by top U.S law firms on a variety of COVID-19 related legal issues including those of interest to businesses and employers.
Information about Disability Insurance in California and how to make a claim if you are sick and cannot work:
Information about paid family leave in California and COVID-19:
California’s Paid sick leave law:
The U.S. Dept. of Labor, Wage & Hour Division released a new regulation on April 1, 2020 to clarify the emergency paid leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Among other things this new rule clarifies that an employee may use leave time such as vacation or personal leave concurrently with the expanded leave provided by the Act:
Information about the Governor’s Executive Order approving a rebuttable presumption of workers compensation benefits for Californians who contract COVID-19 while working outside the home during the stay at home order:
Filing a Claim:
Department of Labor Guidance on Unemployment Flexibility During COVID-19 Outbreak:
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on unemployment benefit scams:
For video tutorials on how to file an unemployment claim, how to reopen a claim, and how to certify for continuing benefits, in English, Spanish, and several other languages, scroll to the bottom of this page:
Como solicitar pagos de beneficios del UI (presente una solicitud)(Espanol)
Job protection and employment discrimination, including discrimination based on medical condition:
COVID-19, the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act and other Equal Employment Opportunity Laws- from the EEOC
EEOC Guidance Related to Pandemic Preparedness and the Workplace
Covering issues such as how much information an employer can require from employees who call in sick, when an employer can take an employee’s temperature, and whether an employer can require employees with pandemic virus related symptoms to stay home.
EEOC Guidance Related to COVID-19 Vaccination Policies
Updated guidance document from the EEOC for employers which covers disability related issues, medical exams and issues related to COVID-19 vaccination policies.
Reduced work hours, potential closures or layoffs, and payroll tax assistance:
Work Sharing Program (alternative to layoffs):
Coronavirus in the Workplace – What You Need to Know (Thomson Reuters):
Information related to COVID-19 for businesses from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development:
FAQ’s Regarding COVID-19 for Employers:
Comprehensive FAQ’s from the law firm Fisher Phillips, including post-pandemic “back to business” issues:
FAQ’s for California Employers:
FAQ’s specifically for California Employers from the law firm Reed Smith:
FAQ’s about Federal Employment Law and COVID-19:
Sample Language and Templates for Employers – Coronavirus in the Workplace
The law firm Fisher Phillips has created some sample language and templates for employers dealing with issues related to Coronavirus in the workplace that they are making available for free on their website (including COVID-19 Talking Points for Managers, Model Announcement to Employees about Positive Test, Authorization to Disclose COVID-19 Diagnosis, and What You Should Know About Coronavirus and Your Employment)
U.S. Department of Labor
Information for employers and employees from the U.S. Department of Labor regarding the impact of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act on sick leave, family leave, wage and hour issues, and more.
Employer’s Guide to Addressing COVID-19
From the Marsh & McLennan insurance agency:
COVID-19 Resources for California Employers (From the law firm CDF, regularly updated), covering Return to Work, CARES Act and American Rescue Plan, Government Limits on Gatherings and Businesses, Remote Work, Pay and Leave, Safety and more.
San Diego Employers Association
This association has COVID-19 Helpful links for employers that are regularly updated, including Coronavirus Frequently Asked HR Questions.
Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for Reopening- OSHA
Guidance for Workplace Reopening – California Specific (CalOSHA):
Guidance for Employers from the EEOC: Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the ADA
This website answers questions about asking disability related questions of employees or prospective hires, requiring medical testing, and related issues.