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COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions CMA has received during the COVID-19 outbreak. By default, the most recent answers will appear up top. You can also filter the FAQ by category. We will update this resource regularly.

More questions? Email communications@cmadocs.org.


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Archive by category: Labor and PersonnelReturn
Beginning April 1, 2020, the Emergency Paid Sick Leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires covered employers (those with fewer than 500 employees) to provide employees with paid sick leave if they are unable to work or telework.
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| Categories: Labor and Personnel
The California Labor Code requires employers to reimburse remote workers for reasonable expenses but does not specify how those expenses should be calculated or how the employee should be reimbursed.
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| Categories: Labor and Personnel
Yes, the Labor Commissioner has taken the position that if anyone is laid off beyond a pay period, the employee is entitled to be paid any accrued wages as if terminated. This means that any accrued vacation must be paid, as any other wages upon the employee being laid off.
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| Categories: Labor and Personnel
No. The California Labor Commissioner has indicated that an employer cannot require that a quarantined worker use state paid sick leave. California Labor Code §246 provides that the employee has the right to decide whether to use paid sick leave. However, if the employee decides to use paid sick leave, the employer may require the employee take a minimum of two hours of paid sick leave. The determination of how much paid sick leave will be used is once again up to the employee.If accrued si...
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| Categories: Labor and Personnel
Non-exempt employees generally are entitled to compensation for actual time worked when not in the office. A signed policy indicating the types of activities that require supervisor approval and the company’s expectation for recording any time spent on such activities is something employers should seriously consider.
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| Categories: Labor and Personnel
All employees working remotely will need access to computers, telephones and the means to connect via the internet and cellular service. Generally, the California Labor Code §2802 requires employers to reimburse employees for “all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties, or of his or her obedience to the directions of the employer.”
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| Categories: Labor and Personnel
The California Employment Development Department (EDD) has provided guidance on Unemployment Insurance benefits for employees affected by COVID-19: Employees are encouraged to apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits if they are unemployed, which includes, but is not limited to, the following circumstances:
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| Categories: Labor and Personnel
Physicians who choose to temporarily close their practices should keep in mind their ethical and legal obligation not to abandon their patients. While no specific statute defines patient abandonment, it is considered unprofessional conduct by the Medical Board.
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| Categories: Labor and Personnel
During a pandemic, employers may ask such employees if they are experiencing symptoms of the pandemic virus. For COVID-19, these include symptoms such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat.
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| Categories: Labor and Personnel
Physician employers should disclose the identities of staff they know who have tested positive for COVID-19 to the local health authority. Health & Safety Code § 120250 broadly requires physicians to report the name and location of a person with any infectious, contagious, or communicable disease to the local health authority, along with the nature of the disease.
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| Categories: Labor and Personnel
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Your use of the CMA website, including information provided on the COVID 19 Resource Page, is governed by the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy linked below.  All Content on this website, including COVID 19 related content, is general in nature, is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical, ethical, financial, legal, coding, or other advice, and should not be used as the sole basis for decision-making or as a substitute for obtaining competent consultation and specific advice from a physician, attorney, insurer, or other knowledgeable professional. In all instances, situation-specific circumstances necessitate consideration of factors which cannot be and are not addressed herein and the information provided is not entirely inclusive, exclusive, or exhaustive of all reasonable methods or approaches to addressing the situation described. CMA makes no warranty, express or implied, and assumes no medical, ethical, financial, or legal liability or responsibility for the content, or for any method, process, strategy, or approach described or referenced herein and CMA shall not be held liable for the content or use thereof. Any use or adaptation of this information must include these disclaimers.

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