Coronavirus Impacts State Legislature and Business

The impact of the coronavirus is being felt all throughout the state, country, and world.  Just yesterday, Governor Newsom requested the home isolation of everyone 65 years and older.  He also requested the shut down of bars, breweries, wineries, night clubs, and pubs.  Prior to this announcement, he had already requested completely limiting any non-essential gatherings, and to limit any essential gatherings to 250 individuals or less.  Today the Center for Disease Control has requested limiting any gatherings to 50 people or less.  Disneyland has temporarily shut down, Apple and Nike announced they were temporarily closing their retail locations, the hospitality industry is struggling with reduced revenue, and various other industries and businesses are already feeling the impact.

Last week, the Pro Tem of the State Senate postponed all committee hearings for the week.  Following the Governor’s announcement with regard to self-isolation of those 65 years and older, the Legislature excused any members who fall within that category from attending floor session.  And, today the Legislature will be evaluating how they continue to operate under this current pandemic.

At the federal level, the House passed legislation specifically addressing the coronavirus.  The pending legislation, among other provisions, would amend the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)  to include “Emergency Public Health” leave, that would allow any employee who is employed by an employer with 500 employees or less and has worked for the employer for 30 days, to take 12 weeks of leave to care for their own medical condition, a family member’s medical condition, or a child who is home due to a school closure.  It also provides 80 hours of paid sick leave.  More details on this federal legislation can be found at

This is not business as usual anywhere, including the State Capitol.  This crisis is changing on a daily basis.  We will continue to try to provide the most up to date information we can on state resources that businesses and workers can access at

Jennifer Barrera, Executive Vice President