Resources are available to support workers and businesses financially affected by COVID-19.
On this page:
Benefits for workers
There are several benefits available to workers impacted by COVID-19. You may be able to take advantage of:
- Unemployment insurance
- Pandemic unemployment assistance
- Paid sick leave
- Paid family leave
- Disability insurance
- Workers’ compensation
Information about these benefits is available in this chart from the Labor and Workforce Development Agency.
Work search requirement
Starting July 11, 2021, you must search for work to receive your benefits. Your work search requirements depend on your claim type. Find yours at Returning to Work.
More benefits if you were self-employed
You may be eligible for the Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program if you:
- Receive regular unemployment benefits, and
- Earned self-employment income of $5,000 or more in the year before claiming unemployment benefits
You are not eligible for MEUC if you receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
Apply for MEUC by September 6, 2021.
Sick leave and other benefits
If you cannot work because you (or a family member you’re taking care of) are sick or quarantined due to COVID-19, there are options.
Learn about leave benefits in the:
- Worker leave and pay benefits related to COVID-19
- Paid leave benefits chart
- Eligibility navigator for COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave
You may also be able to use paid sick leave or COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave to:
- Go to your vaccine appointment
- If you experience vaccine-related side effects
Check the paid leave options on the Workers page of saferatwork.ca.gov for more information.
Read about keeping workplaces safe while upholding civil rights in the Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s FAQs.
If you’re looking for help with:
- Paying your rent, eviction protection, or mortgage relief, visit Housingiskey.com
- Getting or affording food, visit Food resources
- Finding a childcare provider, visit mychildcare.ca.gov
COVID-19 workplace safety standards
Physical distancing and capacity limits for businesses and activities are over. While California retired most industry-specific guidance, all employers are still responsible for maintaining safe, low-risk environments for employees and customers.
COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards
Employers must follow California’s COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). The revised ETS reflect the state’s current COVID-19 public health guidelines. Visit saferatwork.ca.gov to learn more about COVID-19 workplace requirements.
Providing N95 respirators
Employers must provide unvaccinated employees with N95 respirators upon their request and at no cost. California is providing a one-month supply of N95 respirators to small businesses. Visit the Voluntary N95 Distribution page if your business would like to participate in this program.
Employers may require employees to be vaccinated
An employer can require their employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as long as the employer:
- Does not discriminate against or harass employees or job applicants on the basis of a protected characteristic, such as disability or national origin
- Provides reasonable accommodations related to disability or sincerely-held religious beliefs or practices
- Does not retaliate against anyone for engaging in protected activities, such as requesting a reasonable accommodation
Learn more about workplace safety and civil rights in the Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s FAQs.
Find details about reasonable accommodations in the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Commission’s information about COVID-19 and EEO laws.
Request proof of vaccination
Employers requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination status for employees or patrons should follow the Department of Public Health’s Vaccine Record Guidelines and Standards:
- Verify records through a private and confidential process.
- Protect patrons from discrimination.
- Do not create barriers to essential services or restrict access based on a protected characteristic.
Help employees get vaccinated
Employers can assist their employees by:
- Coordinating vaccination events with provider partners
- Hosting a mobile or pop-up clinic
- Helping employees book appointments
- Providing employees with educational resources
Learn more about the Employer Vaccination Toolkit at saferatwork.ca.gov.
Financial help for businesses
Business owners who have been financially affected by COVID-19 can:
- Prevent layoffs and bring back furloughed or laid-off workers at reduced hours through the Work Sharing Program
- Workers can keep their job and get partial unemployment benefits to supplement reduced work hours. This helps you avoid hiring and training expenses.
- Get relief and extensions for filing state tax returns
- Claim federal employer tax credits:
Find more information about reopening your business and hiring employees.
Check business.ca.gov for other programs that may be available for businesses.
- California Labor and Workforce Development Agency and Department of Industrial Relations: Saferatwork.ca.gov
- California Labor and Workforce Development Agency: COVID-19 Resources for Employers and Workers
- California Labor Commissioner: COVID-19 Guidance and Resources
- California Department of Fair Employment and Housing: COVID-19 Resources and Guidance
- California Employment Development Department: COVID-19
- California Division of Occupational Safety and Health: Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Guidance and Resources
- California Division of Workers’ Compensation: COVID-19 Resources and Workers’ Compensation
- California Department of Tax and Fee Administration: COVID-19 State of Emergency
- Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development: Coronavirus 2019
- U.S. Internal Revenue Service: Employer Tax Credits
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: COVID-19 and EEO laws
- U.S. Department of Labor: Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act