California Unemployment Benefits
Depending on the exact circumstances, your employees may be eligible for State Disability Benefits (if they have the supporting medical documentation), Paid Family Leave (if they are caring for a family member), or Unemployment Insurance Benefits (if their job is shut down or they are subject to quarantine). The Employment Development Department has created a helpful overview and FAQ to provide many answers to employee and employer questions. Further, employees can apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits if their hours are reduced.
- Chapter Note: Employers do not need to lay your employees off in order to them to apply for unemployment insurance benefits. They can simply place employees on temporary furlough.
Governor Newsom issued an executive order (N 25-20) in response to the spread of COVID-19. The order gives discretion to the Employment Development Department to waive the one-week waiting period for disability insurance applicants who are unemployed and disabled as a result of the virus. The order also delays the deadline for state tax filing by 60-days for individuals and businesses unable to file on time based on compliance with public health requirements related to COVID-19 filings. Further, our office is following the below proposed pieces of legislation:
- AB 3123: Would protect workers from retaliation when they take leave during public health emergencies, such as the ongoing coronavirus epidemic.
- AB 3216: Would make it an unlawful employment practice for an employer, as defined, to refuse to grant a request by an eligible employee to take family and medical leave due to the coronavirus. Would permit employees taking leave due to COVID-19 to continue to participate in employee health plans, including life insurance or short-term or long-term disability or accident insurance, pension and retirement plans, and supplemental unemployment benefit plans.