COVID-19: Employer Resources

Last updated: 3/22/2021 | Español | COVID-19 Main Page | COVID-19 FAQs

Latest News for Employers
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is one of the federal provisions that helps unemployed Californians who are not usually eligible for state Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. This includes business owners, self-employed workers, independent contractors, and those with a limited work history who are out of business or have significantly reduced their services as a direct result of the pandemic.
  • Federal assistance provided additional weekly unemployment benefits to unemployed workers. These benefit payments are 100 percent federally funded and will not impact your state unemployment tax contribution rate.
  • State and local governmental entities, certain nonprofit organizations, School Employees Fund employers and federally recognized Indian tribes that have elected the reimbursable method of paying for unemployment benefits will receive partial credits (generally 50 to 75 percent) for all payments made to the state’s unemployment trust fund starting from March 13, 2020.
  • Federal funds are available to help businesses in the Los Angeles region facing layoffs and closures and their affected workers. For more information, visit COVID-19: Additional Assistance Funds for Workers and Businesses.

Workplace Health and Safety

For information on protecting workers from COVID-19, refer to the Cal/OSHA Guidance on Coronavirus.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for help with planning and responding to COVID-19.

Reduced Work Hours

If you are experiencing a slowdown in your businesses or services as a result of the coronavirus impact on the economy, you can apply for the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Work Sharing program.

Work Sharing Program

This program allows employers to seek an alternative to layoffs — retaining their trained employees by reducing their hours and wages that can be partially offset with UI benefits. Workers of employers who are approved to participate in the Work Sharing program receive the percentage of their weekly UI benefit amount based on the percentage of hours and wages reduced, not to exceed 60 percent. The Work Sharing program also helps employers rehire laid-off employees as business conditions improve.

To learn more about Work Sharing benefits for you and your employees, and how to apply, visit Work Sharing Program.

Potential Closure or Layoffs

If you are planning a closure or major layoffs as a result of the coronavirus, you can get help through the Rapid Response program. Rapid Response teams will meet with you to discuss your needs, help avert potential layoffs, and provide immediate on-site services to assist workers facing job losses. For more information, refer to the Rapid Response Services for Businesses Fact Sheet (DE 87144RRB) (PDF) or contact your local America’s Job Center of CaliforniaSM.

California WARN

Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-31-20 (PDF), which temporarily suspends the 60-day notice requirement in the California WARN Act for those employers that give written notice to employees and satisfy other conditions. The suspension was intended to permit employers to act quickly in order to mitigate or prevent the spread of coronavirus. The Executive Order does not suspend the California WARN Act in its entirety, nor does it suspend the law for all covered employers. The Executive Order only suspends the California WARN Act’s 60-day notice requirement for those employers that satisfy the Order’s specific conditions. Employers should continue to file a WARN per the legislation requirements regardless if the 60-day notice timeframe is not met. For more information, visit COVID-19: WARN FAQs.

Tax Assistance

If you are experiencing a hardship as a result of COVID-19, you may request up to a 60-day extension of time from the EDD to file your state payroll reports and/or deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest. A written request for extension must be received within 60 days from the original delinquent date of the payment or return.

For questions, call the EDD Taxpayer Assistance Center.

  • 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

Unemployment Tax Relief

Tax-rated employers are employers who pay Unemployment Insurance taxes each year. Federal assistance and state legislation is providing some unemployment tax relief. For benefits paid between January 27, 2020, and September 4, 2021, all COVID-19-related charges will be removed from your reserve account, minimizing the impact to your experience rating, unless you or your agent were at fault. Also, you will not be charged the costs of the additional weeks of FED-ED benefits.

Reimbursable Employers

Federal assistance provided emergency unemployment tax relief to state and local governmental entities, certain nonprofit organizations, and federally recognized Indian tribes. The law allows a 50 percent credit for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit charges for benefit weeks between March 13, 2020, and April 3, 2021. With the most recent federal relief package, the law allows a 75 percent credit for UI benefit charges for benefit weeks between April 4, 2021, and September 4, 2021. This credit is available even if the former employee is not unemployed as a result of COVID-19. This relief also applies to School Employees Fund employers.

The Protecting Nonprofits Act, S. 4209 allows states to reduce the amount reimbursable employers must pay. With this change, employers are no longer required to pay the reimbursable charges in full in order to receive the credit. No action from employers is needed at this time.

If you are experiencing financial difficulty as a result of COVID-19 and are unable to make payments on time for charges shown on your Notice of Amount Due (DE 6601) or Statement of Account (DE 2176), you can request a penalty waiver for late payments. You can also request an installment agreement if you need to make payments over time.

To request a penalty waiver or installment agreement, call 1-888-435-4990 to speak with a Tax representative.