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UC Berkeley Labor Center: Comprehensive COVID-19 Resource List

The UC Berkeley Labor Center has compiled resource lists for understanding new COVID-19 federal legislation and federal and state policy and assistance available to those affected by the pandemic. In the coming weeks and months, we will continue to review and update these pages with information on new COVID-19 legislation, regulations, analysis, and tools.

COVID-19: Understanding Federal Legislation

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFRCA)

On March 18, 2020, the first major federal financial package on the Coronavirus pandemic was signed into law. FFCRA provides paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave to some workers, funds nutritional assistance, and establishes free testing for COVID-19.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Summary of Key Provisions from the Kaiser Family Foundation summarizes key bill components, which cover nutritional assistance, paid family/medical leave, paid sick leave, insurance coverage of coronavirus testing, and the first round of federal emergency grants to states for unemployment insurance.

COVID-19 and the American Workplace from the U.S. DOL Wage and Hour Division offers the most comprehensive and authoritative resource on sick leave and paid family/medical leave under FFCRA. Includes fact sheets on employee paid leave rights and employer paid leave requirements, in both English and Spanish.

COVID-19 Wage Replacement Webinar, Powerpoint Deck, and Cheat Sheet in English and Spanish, from labor law firm Weinberg Roger & Rosenfeld, provide an accessible, high-level overview of FFRCA and California wage replacement laws

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

The second major federal relief package for the COVID-19 pandemic, the $2 trillion CARES Act includes direct payments to American taxpayers, extended and increased unemployment benefits, a new unemployment assistance program for self-employed workers, small business relief, and more.

Democrats Release Q&A on Coronavirus Response, Recovery Bill, compiled by the U.S. Democratic Senate committee staff, provides comprehensive information on the CARES Act in Q&A format for individuals; businesses; the health care system; education institutions; state, local and tribal information; and veterans.

Provisions Related to Unemployment Compensation in the Senate-passed CARES Act, from the U.S. House Committee on Ways & Means, is a detailed FAQ on the bill’s unemployment assistance programs. Includes information on short-time compensation (work-sharing).

The Two Trillion Dollar “Cares Act” Webinar, Powerpoint Deck, and Cheat Sheet from labor law firm Weinberg Roger & Rosenfeld provide an accessible, high-level overview of provisions that directly and indirectly benefit workers, including unemployment benefits and business aid tied to keeping workers on payroll.

COVID-19: Resources on Federal and State Policy and Assistance

California State Government Sources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) in California from the California Department of Public Health is a central resource for information and assistance related to the pandemic. Includes links to programs for workers and businesses and county COVID-19 web pages.

Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Resources for Employers and Workers from the California Labor Commissioner’s Office provides extensive guidance for both workers and employees on paid sick leave, disability and unemployment, paid family leave, workplace health and safety, employment assistance, more.

Coronavirus Outbreak Resources and Information for Workers from the California Labor Federation compiles state and federal resources and laws, Executive Orders from Governor Newsom, resources for undocumented workers, resources from health care unions in California, much more.

COVID-19 Series: Federal Actions Affecting California is an ongoing series from the Legislative Analyst’s Office, with overviews, analysis, and discussion of possible state action in response to federal assistance.

The CARES program provides new federal funding for Short-Time Compensation programs, also known as Work Sharing. California’s Work Sharing program is eligible for full federal funding. Learn more about work sharing in this NELP report, Work Sharing: An Alternative to Layoffs.

Federal Government Sources

Coronavirus Resources from the U.S. Department of Labor provides links to information on workplace safety; wages, hours, leave; unemployment; much more. Covers both new and ongoing programs.

Know Your Rights, for Workers

Coronavirus – Frequently Asked Questions from Legal Rights at Work, available in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese, covers COVID-related questions on unemployment, disability, discrimination, wage replacement for undocumented workers, more. See also Undocumented Workers’ Employment Rights.

A Roundup of California Worker Rights in the Time of COVID-19 from CELA Voice, California Employment Lawyers Association, provides detailed information with FAQs and links.

The Worker’s Guide: Your Rights During the Coronavirus from the Western Poverty Law Center, provides detailed and practical information on worker rights and benefits related to sick leave, family and medical leave, and unemployment assistance.

Health and Safety

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Worker Health Resources from the UC Berkeley Labor Occupational Health Program. Includes federal guidance documents, sector-specific resources, workers’ rights to a safe workplace, sick leave, more. Links to resources in numerous languages.


Understanding the Impact of Key Provisions of COVID-19 Relief Bills on Immigrant Communities from the National Immigration Law Center is a policy brief on the impact of FFCRA and CARES on low-income immigrants and urgently needed improvements.

COVID-19 Resource Guide for Immigrants in California from the California Immigrant Policy Center includes information and resource links for California immigrants with various types of status, as well as links to COVID-19 information in numerous languages.

Immigrant Eligibility for Public Programs During COVID-19 from Protecting Immigrant Families is an inventory of federal support programs, eligibility rules related to immigrants, and implications for the public charge rule.

Undocumented Workers’ Employment Rights from Legal Aid at Work discusses California state programs available to undocumented workers, including State Disability Insurance, Paid Family Leave, Workers’ Compensation, and Paid Sick Days, as well as how federal workers’ rights apply to undocumented workers.

A List of Relief Funds for Undocumented Workers in California from Legal Aid at Work describes known financial assistance programs for undocumented workers who have become unemployed or lost income due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The list is in English and Spanish.

Gig Workers

Note: Gig workers who are self-employed qualify for a new unemployment program under the CARES Act, called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. At the same time, many gig workers who work for app-based companies may be considered employees under California law (AB 5).

What freelancers need to know about the coronavirus, from Freelancers Union, summarizes new government relief programs and links to additional information and applications. This page also links to COVID-19 Resources, from the Gig Workers Collective, with links to national and state-level assistance for gig workers and others.

COVID-19 Resources: Info for gig workers and consumers from Gig Workers Rising includes links to assistance available to gig workers and safety tips for grocery and delivery workers and consumers .

Information Regarding the Unemployment Insurance Application for Workers at App-Based Companies in California from the Partnership for Working Families provides practical information on how to apply for unemployment benefits.

Small Businesses and Non-Profit Organizations

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act from the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, Office of Senator Ben Cardin. Overview, FAQs, links to other resources and program applications, applicability to non-profit organizations.

Understanding the Paycheck Protection Program from Economic Innovation Group provides a detailed overview of CARES Act’s forgivable loan program for small businesses and nonprofits.

Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) from the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) outlines federal and state resources for small businesses. Includes links to assistance application portals for state and federal programs.

Nonprofits and Coronavirus, COVID-19 from the National Council of Nonprofits includes a webinar and slides on “Federal Coronavirus Relief Bills: What Do They Mean for Nonprofits?” and many other resources for non-profits.


Major Consumer Protections Announced in Response to COVID-19 from the National Consumer Law Center covers consumer protections in the CARES Act and other federal policies on issues including foreclosure, eviction, mortgages, students loans, and price gouging. The page also tracks state limitations on foreclosures and eviction. Homeowners can look up if their loans are through Fannie Mae here, and through Freddie Mac here.

Health Care

Covered California’s Special Enrollment Period Due to Coronavirus allows workers and families to enroll in individual health insurance marketplace plans through June 30, 2020. After June 30, until October 15, 2020, people can enroll if they experience a qualifying event, including loss of job-based coverage. Enrollment in Medi-Cal is available year round. People can check their eligibility for Medi-Cal or a subsidized rate through Covered California here.

Modified Adjusted Gross Income under the Affordable Care Act — Updated with Information for COVID-19 Policies, from the UC Berkeley Labor Center, explains how to calculate MAGI for purposes of applying to Covered California or Medi-Cal.

County Medically Indigent Programs from Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP) tracks California county programs that provide access to health care services for uninsured individuals regardless of immigration status, tracks these and explains eligibility guidelines.