COVID-19 FAQs: Employer Information

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COVID-19 FAQs

Visit COVID-19: WARN FAQs for information about the WARN Act and the temporary suspension of its 60-day notice requirement.

You can provide the EDD with this information that you requested your employee to return to work and the employee refused. The EDD will use this new information in determining whether your employee can continue to receive UI benefits. You can inform the EDD of this information as follows:

  • In Ask EDD:
    • Select the Unemployment Insurance category.
    • Select the Employer Inquiry subcategory.
    • Select the Report Refusal of Work topic.
  • Send a letter to the EDD at the address listed on the Notice of Unemployment Insurance Claim Filed (DE 1101CZ), within 10 days of your employee’s refusal to return to work. This notice was mailed to you if you were the employee’s very last employer when a claim for UI benefits was filed by your employee.
  • Send a letter to the EDD at the address listed on the Notice of Wages Used for Unemployment Insurance Claim (DE 1545), within 15 days of your employee’s refusal to return to work. This notice was mailed to all base period employers after the first payment was made on a UI claim.

For more information, review

If COVID-19 has impacted your business or services, you can avoid potential layoffs by participating in the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Work Sharing Program. This program allows you to retain your workers by reducing their hours and wages no more than 60 percent and partially offsetting the wage loss with UI benefits. This helps you avoid the cost of recruiting, hiring, and training new workers and helps your workers keep their jobs and receive some financial support with UI benefits. You and your workers can also be prepared to quickly adjust when business improves.

Any portion of the grant funds used to compensate you for lost wages or services must be reported when you certify for unemployment benefits. Any portion of the grant funds used to pay for other expenses, including overhead costs, payroll (not including your own payroll), and other expenses related to COVID-19, do not need to be reported.

How you report grant funds depends on if you receive regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits:

  • Regular UI: Report the grant funds during the week in which they were earned.
  • PUA: Report the grant funds during the week in which they were paid.

Your workers can file for unemployment benefits as long as they are unemployed and otherwise eligible. Workers who expect to return to work for you within a few weeks are not required to actively seek work each week as long as they are able and available to return to work during their unemployment and meet all other eligibility criteria. The EDD will explain the requirements to your workers when they apply for benefits.

If you are facing potential layoffs or plant closures, you can get help through the Rapid Response program. Rapid Response teams will meet with you to discuss your needs, help avoid layoffs where possible, and support your workers through the process. Services can include upgrades to current worker skills, customized training, career counseling, job search assistance, help with filing unemployment insurance claims, and information about education and training opportunities. For more information, refer to Rapid Response Services for Businesses Fact Sheet (DE 87144RRB) (PDF). You can also contact your local America’s Job Center of California for more information about available Rapid Response services.

Funds are available to help affected businesses and workers. Visit COVID-19: Additional Assistance Funds for Workers and Businesses for more information.

With the Governor’s emergency declaration, if your business is directly affected by COVID-19, you can request up to a 60-day extension to file your state payroll reports and deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest. The written request for extension, noting the impact of COVID-19, must be received within 60 days from the original delinquent date of the payment or return. For the address to send the request, along with other information, please see the State of Emergency or Disaster Fact Sheet (DE 231SED) (PDF).

You can also call the EDD Taxpayer Assistance Center with any questions you may have about your payroll tax responsibilities.

  • Toll-free from the US or Canada: 1-888-745-3886
  • TTY: 1-800-547-9565
  • Outside the US or Canada: 1-916-464-3502

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guidance for Business and Employers includes basic precautions like proper handwashing and cleaning, as well as making sure your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance. Visit Cal/OSHA Guidance on Coronavirus to learn more about workplace requirements.

The wages of employees who typically perform services in another state for an employer located outside of California will not be subject to Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax, Employment Training Tax (ETT), and Disability Insurance (DI) withholdings if those employees are temporarily performing services within California due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If a worker remains in California performing services after state or federal public health officials have ended stay-at-home orders and the worker could have resumed working at their normal work location outside California, the worker and the employer will be considered subject to California employment tax laws.

If the employee continues to perform services in California after the COVID-19 pandemic has ended, those services will become subject to UI Tax, ETT, and DI contributions. For more information, refer to Information Sheet: Multistate Employment (DE 231D) (PDF).