The COVID-19 pandemic is incredibly fluid and requiring government agencies, businesses, and employers to respond to and prepare for circumstances that are uncharted and rapidly changing.
This page is intended to help answer some of the most commonly asked questions and provide other valuable resources for agencies, businesses, employers, and individuals to help navigate these unprecedented times. Below are some Frequently Asked Questions (which are updated often to address new issues and concerns) followed by a list of webinars in our COVID-19 Webinar Series. Additionally, under the News & Updates tab, you can access Downey Brand legal alerts and blog posts, as well as links to local, state, and federal resources.
Frequently Asked Questions
You may ask employees with visible symptoms to go home and stay at home. You may also ask those who worked closely with employees who test positive to stay at home. You may ask employees with visible symptoms to get tested, though you cannot administer any testing yourself. You may inform employees that someone has tested positive...
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Ensuring that you have the requisite documents in place to protect yourself—and your loved ones—during a period of incapacity is a good place to start. Completing an Advanced Health Directive allows you to appoint a health care agent to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event you are unable to do so for yourself.
Now is the time, hopefully while you are healthy, to think about what will happen if you, your child, or your child’s other parent get sick or are required to self-quarantine. Again, the first step is to review your existing custody order, as it may generally address what will happen in the event one or both parents are ill and unable to care for the child.
On Saturday March 14, the House of Representatives passed HR 6201. The Senate is expected to vote by Monday, March 16, 2020. The law will be effective 15 days after the date of enactment and expire on December 31, 2020.
Two potential areas of recovery here include each of event-cancellation and business interruption insurance policies.
Businesses and Associations are proactively, and in some instances being required, to cancel events, conferences, meetings, fund-raisers (especially in the non-profit area), and conventions.
Current economic indicators are startling and fast-moving. Already, in California, restaurants, bars, and public gatherings are being closed or curtailed, not to mention current travel restrictions. It is going to be a rough few months, or more, from a business perspective. If your revenue has or is about to drop precipitously, you need to be prepared and proactive.
Schools throughout the state have begun to implement mandatory closures in response to the coronavirus. Commencing March 16, 2020, all school districts in Sacramento County will be closed to students for up to three weeks. Other school districts have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, similar plans.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security ("CARES") Act provides nearly $2 trillion in support to individuals and businesses in response to the economic devastation caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. On March 27, 2020, the House of Representatives passed the CARES Act and President Trump signed the bill into law the same day.
The IRS has announced that the filing deadline and payment of taxes has been pushed back to July 15, 2020. Additionally, any estimated tax payments due on April 15 can be paid on July 15.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law on March 18, 2020, and it allows employees affected by the coronavirus to receive paid leave. Under the Act, employees can receive paid sick leave if they are quarantined, experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, caring for someone who is quarantined or caring for a child whose school has been closed.
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Elizabeth Stallard helps clients navigate complex employment and business issues with a common sense and pragmatic approach. A seasoned and creative problem-solver, Elizabeth advises clients with workforce management issues and efficiently resolves disputes either through litigation or alternative dispute resolution.
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Downey Brand News & Updates
Employers Can Begin Taking Advantage of Two New Refundable Payroll Tax Credits
March 14, 2020
COVID-19 and Child Custody
Federal, State, and Local Resources
The U.S. Government
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act, providing nearly $2 trillion of support to families and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act includes, but is not limited to, direct payments to millions of Americans, expansion of unemployment benefits, a lending program for small businesses, as well as billions in support for the healthcare industry. See key takeaways here.
The State of California
On March 19, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20, directing all Californians to stay home, except as necessary to “maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors.” A copy of that Order (pdf), along with a list of FAQs and a list of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers (pdf) are available on the State’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response website. You can access our legal alerts on this topic here.
A list of additional orders and actions taken by Governor Gavin Newsom to combat the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.
The U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division
On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), which includes the “Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act and the “Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act.” Both laws apply to public agencies and employers with fewer than 500 employees. The laws expire on December 31, 2020. Please refer to our legal alert summarizing both laws here.
The week of March 23, 2020, the DOL issued additional guidance about the FFCRA. The new guidance addresses a variety of topics including how the FFCRA applies to remote working, worksite closures, intermittent leave, reduction of hours, and furloughs (the DOL continues to provide additional guidance and updates so we encourage people to visit their Questions and Answers page frequently). The DOL also issued two fact sheets, one for employees and one for employers. On March 25, 2020, the DOL issued the “Employee Rights” poster (pdf), which employers are required to post and distribute to employees working remotely and a list of FAQs about notice requirements.
The City of Sacramento
The City recently created a web page with local, state, and federal information and resources relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is available here.
The Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce
The Metro Chamber is in daily talks with local, county, state, and federal partners advocating for the resources we need to support employees, businesses, and families through these dynamically changing times. In response, they’ve created the Coronavirus Rapid Response Hub. On this site, you will find rapid response resources for both employers and employees, as well as a hub of local, county, state, and federal resources related to COVID-19. The website will be updated on an on-going basis as new information and resources become available.