COVID-19 Legislative Updates

Federal Updates

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)

The CARES Act passed in the House and President Trump signed the $2 trillion stimulus bill to address the economic impacts caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

With respect to small businesses, the bill provides emergency grants and a forgivable loan program for companies with 500 or fewer employees. Employers are eligible for a 50 percent refundable payroll tax credit on wages paid up to $10,000 during the crisis. The credit would be available to employers whose businesses were disrupted due to virus shutdowns and those that had a decrease in gross receipts of 50 percent or more when compared to the same quarter last year. The credit can be claimed for employees who are retained but not currently working due to the crisis for firms with more than 100 employees, and for all employee wages for firms with 100 or fewer employees.

The bill also provides funding for $1,200 tax rebates to individuals, with additional $500 payments per qualifying child. The rebate begins phasing out when incomes exceed $75,000 (or $150,000 for joint filers).

Read the bill

Employee Leave Changes (US Senate – HR6201)

For employers with fewer than 500 employees the President signed into law H.R. 6201, the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” in effect April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

View more information here

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201)

The FFCRA will provide:

  • Free coronavirus testing.
  • Paid emergency leave.
  • Enhanced unemployment insurance.
  • Additional funding for nutritional programs.
  • Protections for health care workers and employees responsible for cleaning at-risk places.
  • Additional federal funds for Medicaid

Covered employers that are required to offer emergency FMLA or paid sick leave will be eligible for refundable tax credits. Employers with fewer than 50 workers can apply for an exemption from providing paid family and medical leave and paid sick leave if it “would jeopardize the viability of the business.” Private businesses with at least 500 employees are not covered by the bill.

Read more about this Federal Bill from SHRM.

Office of the Governor of California

On March 19, 2020, Governor Newsom issued a statewide, mandatory STAY AT HOME order. Read more…

All businesses should encourage employees to stay home if sick and follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Keeping Workplaces, Homes, Schools or Commercial Establishments Safe (pdf).

California is working to support people financially affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn more in this chart of benefits available for workers affected by COVID-19.
The state has removed waiting periods for unemployment and disability insurance for Californians who lose work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, and published resources for workers affected by COVID-19.

Learn More:

April 15, 2020: Governor Newsom Announces New Initiatives to Support California Workers Impacted by COVID-19
April 14, 2020: Governor Newsom Outlines Six Critical Indicators the State will Consider Before Modifying the Stay-at-Home Order and Other COVID-19 Interventions
April 13, 2020: California, Oregon & Washington Announce Western States Pact

U.S. Representative Mike Levin

To provide basic information about important COVID-19 response programs and to answer frequently asked questions, the following resource guide has been prepared for residents of California’s 49th Congressional District.

Representative Mike Levin’s office is also working to provide up-to-date information and resources, and to help constituents in need. You can reach us by visiting our website or by calling (760) 599-5000, and we will work to assist you.

Senator Pat Bates

I am committed to ensuring that state and local agencies have the resources they need to contain the spread of COVID-19 and help those affected. Please visit our website for key resources and up-to-date information.