California Stay at Home Order

Summary of the Stay at Home Order and categories your employees will fall into

CISA-Guidance-on-Essential-Critical-Infrastructure-Workers-1-20-508cWho’s Closed? Who’s Open? California’s Stay at Home Order


On March 19, 2020, at approximately 7:00 p.m., Governor Newsom signed Executive Order N-33-20, effectively a “stay home” order to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. There are exceptions for “essential services” such as gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, takeout and delivery restaurants, banks, and laundromats / laundry services. You can download the Order here.

Additionally, there are exceptions to maintain continuity of operation of the “federal critical infrastructure sectors,” critical government services, schools, childcare, and construction, including housing construction. Click here to see if your business falls within the 16 designated federal critical infrastructure sectors.  Feel free to call Kurtis Urien at (559) 473-7703 or email at for assistance in determining whether your business falls within the 16 designated federal critical infrastructure sectors.

Generally, your employees will fall into a few different categories, and we want to provide you with guidance on how to handle each category:

  1. Continuing to work: if your business falls under one of the exceptions, your employees may continue to work. Continue to advise them on proper health and safety precautions including social distancing at work. All companies have the option of having employees work from home. If you will be sending employees home to work, we recommend using a telecommuting agreement which we can provide.
  2. Furlough: because we don’t know how long this Order will be in effect, you may want to temporarily furlough employees. Think of it as a leave of absence under unusual circumstances or a temporary reduction/elimination of hours. There’s no need to terminate their employment. Once the Order is lifted, they will return to work. They are eligible for Unemployment Insurance and should apply immediately. If you have periods where they do have available work, they are allowed to have income but must report it to EDD. Wages earned will offset their benefits. You should check with your insurance carriers/broker to understand your obligations to keep any health benefits in place.
  3. Lay Off: if you know that your business will suffer long term, and you won’t need certain positions in the foreseeable future, you may need to reduce your workforce through a layoff. Be mindful about how you choose which employees are affected and seek counsel from Ethos or your employment attorney. Treat this as a termination of employment: pay out all monies due, including accrued vacation, and provide them with the appropriate paperwork. They are eligible for Unemployment Insurance and should apply immediately.

We know this is a challenging time for everyone. We will continue to service our clients in any way possible. Be well and take care of yourself and others.

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