DOL Announces Guidance On Unemployment Insurance Flexibilities
Volume: 19 | Issue: 4
March 16, 2020
The US Department of Labor (DOL) has announced new guidance outlining flexibilities that states have in administering their unemployment insurance (UI) programs to assist Americans affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The DOL states: “Under the guidance, federal law permits significant flexibility for states to amend their laws to provide UI benefits in multiple scenarios related to COVID-19. For example, federal law allows states to pay benefits where: (1) An employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19, preventing employees from coming to work; (2) An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over; and (3) An individual leaves employment due to a risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member. In addition, federal law does not require an employee to quit in order to receive benefits due to the impact of COVID-19. An individual receiving paid sick leave or paid family leave is still receiving pay. Thus, generally speaking, the individual is not ‘unemployed,’ so the individual is ineligible for unemployment insurance.”
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