A List of Resources for Coronavirus-Affected Restaurants, Bars, and Food Service Workers

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council passed emergency measures to help the city’s most vulnerable residents during the coronavirus pandemic. These motions include specific actions and resources for restaurant, bar, and food service workers who have experienced reduced work hours or layoff in recent weeks due to mandated closures for dine-in restaurants, and other factors that maybe have contributed to temporary or even permanent closures. It’s unclear whether these jobs will return after the pandemic slows down, or how long it will take for restaurants to get back to pre-pandemic levels of business. Below is a list of resources for restaurant, bar, and food service workers. We will update this page as new information becomes available.

The State of California is offering unemployment benefits for individuals who experienced reduced hours, were laid off, or employer ceased operations as a direct result of COVID-19. Governor Newsom’s executive order waives the one week unpaid waiting period. Check eligibility and apply online through the Employment Development Department (EDD) to see if you qualify for the $40 to $450 benefit per week.

If exposed to COVID-19 and a medical professional certifies your inability to work because of the virus, file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim. DI is a short-term benefit payment for those eligible, and range from $50 to $1,300 per week.

There’s a relief fund for food service workers who have lost work during the pandemic. One Fair Wage Campaign operates in California and applies to restaurant workers, delivery drivers, bartenders, and anyone who receives tips.

If unable to work because of caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19, file for a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim. PFL provides up to six weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers experiencing a loss of wages to care for a seriously ill family member or bond with a new child. Benefit amounts range from $50 to $1,300 per week.

It is challenging time for undocumented food service workers in California. Many face financial and social barriers during the COVID-19 outbreak, and will not apply for relief for fear of retribution or deportation. The California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance notes that undocumented workers can qualify for emergency Medi-Cal coverage, including non-US citizens or nationals.


LA Mayor Eric Garcetti put a moratorium on residential evictions yesterday, to slow down foreclosures and eliminated utility shut offs.

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