MITIGATING THE EFFECTS OF COVID-19 IN THE WORKPLACE

A Guide to Resources, Government Benefits, and Programs in California. The Grady Firm can assist your company with preparing a Communicable Illness Plan, drafting notices for evolving policies to distribute employees, and answer employment questions on a case-by-case basis. Schedule a consultation today.

While it seems like we are receiving updates by the minute from the government, news organizations, and businesses that are closing, it is important for employers to stay calm to weather the emotional and financial storm that is spreading around the world.  Find out about employer obligations and government benefits in California.

  • EMPLOYER OBLIGATIONS

    An employer is required to provide a safe workplace per OSHA regulations. If an employee has contracted COVID-19, that employee should be sent home from work immediately.

    Learn More

  • PAID SICK LEAVE AND TIME OFF

    In California, if the employee has Paid Sick Leave available, the employer must provide such leave and compensate the employee under California paid sick leave laws.

    Learn More

  • CALIFORNIA BENEFITS AND PROGRAMS

    California offers many benefits and programs to those affected by Covid-19. Including, Disability Insurance, Paid Family Leave for Caregivers, and much more.

  • ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AND LINKS

    For employers and workers, resources and additional links to help you navigate through these times.

    Click Here

RESOURCES

Stay tuned into more content on how to mitigate the effects of Coronavirus (Covid-19) in the workplace. If you would like to book Jennifer Grady for your next event contact info@gradyfirm.com. Read more about why it's not recommended to do this yourself.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

Individuals and Family

Layoffs/Furloughs


  1. Here is California's program guide for the unemployed that should be given to employees upon separation/termination.
  2. If your business has been shutdown tonight by government order, please explore unemployment and disability insurance options for yourself or your employees. Read our blog about " Mitigating the Impact of Coronavirus in the Workplace."​




Paid Sick Leave, FMLA, and Paid Time Off


  1. Show me the money! Learn how to take advantage of tax credits related to Covid-19's effect on Business. [Read More]​
  2. Los Angeles employer update: If you have 500 employees working within the City of Los Angeles, or 2,000 across the US, you may have to provide up to 80 hours of Paid Sick Leave to your employees, up to $511 per day, or $5,110 in the aggregate. Learn what scenarios qualify an employee for this leave under the Mayor's order. [ Download Here]




Business Loans


  1. SBA loans are available for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay. Learn More
  2. No double-dipping: Under the coronavirus relief law, the #PPP loan forgiveness is not counted as taxable income. The IRS said in its guidance on Thursday that expenses that result in forgiveness of a PPP loan are not tax deductible in order to prevent a "double tax benefit." The agency cited Section 256 of the tax code, which states that deductions can't be taken if they are tied to a certain class of tax-exempt income. https://thehill.com/policy/finance/domestic-taxes/495587-irs-companies-who-receive-ppp-loans-will-not-qualify-for-tax




Unemployment and Disability Insurance


  1. Here is a good explanation of the difference between the EDD's Work Sharing Program and regular unemployment benefits. There may be more money for employers and employees under the Work Sharing program if your company qualifies. [Read More]




Government Resources for Businesses


  1. It's time to start thinking about your contracts and whether they can be excused due to the coronavirus pandemic. Do you have a force majeure clause in your contract? Is it "impossible" to perform? Was the purpose of your contract "frustrated"? Are you trying to enforce your contract? What are the damages? What are you doing to mitigate any damages? Are you able to get a refund? Read More from the Daily Journal.​
  2. Good news for Irvine businesses! One-time grants in the amount of $10,000 will be awarded on a first-come first-served basis to eligible businesses. It is estimated that the City will be able to assist approximately 500 businesses in the community through this program. Support funds may be used to assist businesses with personal protective equipment, payroll, capital, equipment, and operational costs, including utilities, CAM, loan, lease, and mortgage payments. Approximately $3,000,000 of the total funds have been reserved for grants to sales tax-generating small businesses within the City such as retail stores and restaurants. The remaining funding of approximately $2,000,000 will be available for grants to other small businesses operating within the City. [ Learn More]
  3. No double-dipping: Under the coronavirus relief law, the PPP loan forgiveness is not counted as taxable income. The IRS said in its guidance on Thursday that expenses that result in forgiveness of a PPP loan are not tax deductible in order to prevent a "double tax benefit." The agency cited Section 256 of the tax code, which states that deductions can't be taken if they are tied to a certain class of tax-exempt income. If desired, Congress could override the IRS's stance by passing a law that explicitly allows the deductions [ Read more]




Other Helpful Resources


  1. Here are brief articles about Eviction Bans and Tenant Protections in California and other states. ​
  2. It's time to start thinking about your contracts and whether they can be excused due to the coronavirus pandemic. Do you have a force majeure clause in your contract? Is it "impossible" to perform? Was the purpose of your contract "frustrated"? Are you trying to enforce your contract? What are the damages? What are you doing to mitigate any damages? Are you able to get a #refund? Read More ​
  3. Are you confused about the conflicting state, local, and health department-ordered mandates to stay at home? Stay updated here. ​
  4. Here are some tricks of the trade, along with advice from fellow “Not now, I’m on the phone!” Parents who sometimes have to turn their kitchen table into a makeshift office. ​
  5. Innovation from Irvine, CA:

    The Masimo SafetyNet, originally designed for opioid patients, is a wearable similar to a wristwatch with a disposable fingertip attachment usable either by patients in traditional or ad hoc hospital beds, or by sick individuals who have been seen and sent home. It continuously monitors a patient’s pulse, breathing, and blood oxygen levels. If it detects shallow breathing or an unnaturally slow or accelerated pulse, it alerts caregivers and hospital staff. [ Check it out] ​​
  6. How to Properly Wash Your Hands. One of the best ways to keep you and your family healthy is by properly washing your hands. Despite being taught to wash our hands as children, many of us don’t know the proper techniques for washing our hands correctly, or how often we should be performing this important task. We’ll walk you through the proper steps as laid out by the leading health organizations around the globe such as the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. [ Read More]




Employer Obligation


1. The Department of Labor released the required notice for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act today. All employers covered by the FFCRA must post the notice in a conspicuous place to advise all current employees of their rights under the Act. The FFCRA, which was passed by Congress and signed by President Trump last week, expands employee leave laws in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Download Here 2. The burden is now on employers to show that a Covid infection did not take place in the workplace in order to overcome the presumption that a Covid-19 case qualifies for worker's compensation. https://gradyfirm.wordpress.com/2020/05/08/how-will-covid-19-affect-workers-compensation-claims-in-california/ ​​​​​​​

  1. Here is a good article on managing a remote work force, with more than the basic considerations. Determine how often you will check in with employees, and how deadlines will work. Do they have the right #equipment? What are the bottlenecks? What technology are they using?
  2. Are you reimbursing telecommuting employees for their reasonably-incurred business-related expenses, like cell phone, Internet connection, paper, pens, staples, and supplies, etc.? Is this reflected on their wage statements? See our blog on cell phone reimbursement in California. We can help you create a reimbursement policy and determine the amount to pay the employee.
  3. Have you posted this required flyer at your business in the break room or a conspicuous place? Once an employer registers with the Employment Development Department (EDD), they receive a notice to post, which informs their employees of their rights under the Unemployment Insurance (UI), Disability Insurance (DI), and Paid Family Leave (PFL) programs. This notice must be posted in a prominent location that is easily seen by the employees. Employers receive the following notice if they are subject to: Unemployment Insurance, Disabiltiy Insurance, and/or Paid Family Leave [ Download Here] ​
  4. If your business has been shutdown tonight by government order, please explore unemployment and disability insurance options for yourself or your employees. Read our blog about " Mitigating the Impact of Coronavirus in the Workplace." ​​ ​​ ​
  5. USCIS Suspends Interviews and Premium Processing for Cap H-1B Cases, Consulates Suspend or Limit Visa Interviews Note: USCIS usually suspends premium processing for a period of time during H-1B season, so that's not new. However, suspended interview times could lead to longer wait times once this service resumes. Read More
  6. If you send employees home from work due to illness or lack of work, they may be entitled to Reporting Time Pay. Check the rules in your state. Here are the rules for California.​
  7. Los Angeles employer update: If you have 500 employees working within the City of Los Angeles, or 2,000 across the US, you may have to provide up to 80 hours of Paid Sick Leave to your employees, up to $511 per day, or $5,110 in the aggregate. Learn what scenarios qualify an #employee for this leave under the Mayor's order. Download Here​ ​​​​​​​​




Immigration


  1. USCIS has suspended Premium Processing on employment-based cases for all I-129 and I-140 applications until further notice. The I-907 and $1,440 filing fee will be returned for all applications received after March 20, 2020. This temporary suspension includes petitions filed for the following categories: I-129: E-1, E-2, H-1B, H-2B, H-3, L-1A, L-1B, LZ, O-1, O-2, P-1, P-1S, P-2, P-2S, P-3, P-3S, Q-1, R-1, TN-1 and TN-2.I-140: EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3. [Read More]
  2. How is COVID-19 Impacting US Immigration? Listen Now





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