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Families First Coronavirus Response Act Questions and Answers (updated 3/30/20)

Monday, 30 March 2020 / Published in Human Resources

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act has extensive provisions in response to COVID-19 including creation of the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA).  This information will be updated as guidance becomes available.  This information is updated as of 12:00 p.m. March 30, 2020.

EMERGENCY FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE EXPANSION ACT

What is expanded?

The EFMLEA amends the current Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), allowing leave for eligible employees who can’t work (or telework) because their minor child’s school or childcare service is closed due to a public health emergency with respect to COVID-19 declared by a federal, state, or local authority.

When does EFMLEA go into effect?

EFMLEA is effective from April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.

Is the EFMLEA retroactive?

No.  Any leave granted prior to April 1, 2020, would not fall under the provisions of this Act.

Are public employers covered?

Yes.   Just like regular FMLA, public entities are a covered employer regardless of size.  Thus, all local government entities will need to comply.

Why can an employee take EFMLEA?

Eligible employees may qualify for EFML when the employee is unable to work or telework due to a need for leave to care for a minor child if the school or place of care has been closed, or the childcare provider is unavailable, due to a public health emergency declared by a federal, state, or local authority.

Who is eligible?

Employees who have been employed for at least 30-calendar days are eligible.  The requirements for independent eligibility for “regular” FMLA of a minimum number of hours, months, and location do not apply to EFMLEA.   Therefore, all public employees who have worked for at least 30 days are eligible for EFML, regardless of whether the employer has 50 employees or not.

Employers may exclude health care provider and emergency responders. 

Who is a “health care provider” which may be excluded?

A health care provider is anyone employed at any:

  • doctor’s office
  • hospital
  • health care center
  • clinic
  • post-secondary educational institution offering health care instruction
  • medical school
  • local health department or agency
  • nursing facility
  • retirement facility
  • nursing home
  • home health care provider
  • any facility that performs laboratory or medical testing, pharmacy, or any similar institution, employer, or entity

This includes any permanent or temporary institution, facility, location, or site where medical services are provided that are similar to such institutions.

Who is an “emergency responder” which may be excluded?

An emergency responder is an employee who is necessary for the provision of transport, care, health care, comfort, and nutrition of such patients, or whose services are otherwise needed to limit the spread of COVID-19. This includes but is not limited to:

  • military or national guard
  • law enforcement officers
  • correctional institution personnel
  • fire fighters
  • emergency medical services personnel
  • physicians
  • nurses
  • public health personnel
  • emergency medical technicians
  • paramedics
  • emergency management personnel
  • 911 operators
  • public works personnel
  • persons with skills or training in operating specialized equipment or other skills needed to provide aid in a declared emergency
  • individuals who work for such facilities employing these individuals and whose work is necessary to maintain the operation of the facility

Are seasonal and temporary employees eligible?

Yes.  All employees are eligible, including full-time and part-time employees, and “joint employees” working for the employer temporarily and/or through a temp agency. However, as stated above health care providers and emergency responders may be exempt.

Are substitute teachers eligible?

As the DOL has not yet issued its regulation on the Act, it is unclear whether substitute teachers are eligible.  However, other out-of-state districts have determined their substitute teachers are not eligible since they are “waiting to be called”.  That is, the employer is unable to ascertain whether the substitute was going to work on a given day in the future, and as school districts are shut down, substitutes have no expectation of working.  Some of these out of state districts are sending their substitute teachers layoff notices.  It is important to note that long-term subs may be covered, however. 

Is EMFL leave paid?

Unlike “regular” FMLA leave, EFMLEA leave is partially paid.  The first ten days of EFML are unpaid, but employees may substitute accrued paid leave (e.g., sick, annual, personal) for this time.  They may also substitute emergency paid sick leave under EPSLA. 

After the initial ten days, employers must pay eligible employees at least two-thirds of the employees’ regular rate of pay (as defined under the Fair Labor Standards Act) based on the number of hours the employees would otherwise have been scheduled to work.  These paid family leave benefits are capped at $200 a day and $10,000 in the aggregate.

For example, an employee who makes $250 per day takes EFMLEA leave to care for his child due to school closure.  The first ten days of leave are unpaid, but he may substitute accrued paid leave at 100% of his earnings for this period.  After the first ten days, he will be paid at least 2/3 of his regular rate of pay up to $167 per day.  If the employee made $400 per day, he would only receive $200 per day, the maximum amount.

Is all leave under the FMLA now paid leave?

No. The only type of family and medical leave that is paid leave is under the EMFLEA when such leave exceeds ten days.

When calculating pay due to employees, must overtime hours be included?

Yes. The EMFLEA requires employees to be paid for hours the employee would have been normally scheduled to work even if that is more than 40 hours in a week.

Can an employee substitute accrued paid leave for the other 1/3 of pay?

Yes.  Employees may substitute paid leave for the pay not covered by EFMLEA, but employers may not require employees to substitute accrued paid leave. In addition, employers are not required to allow employees to substitute paid leave. Rather, employers should be consistent with its other leave policies/CBAs.

Can an employee take leave intermittently and in partial day increments?

Yes. The employer may allow employees to take leave under EFMLEA intermittently while working at the regular worksite or teleworking, and leave may be taken in any increments agreed upon by the employer and employee.  Employers should specify in their policy under what circumstances intermittent leave may be allowed and define the smallest increment of time in which leave can be taken.  The DOL encourages employers to adopt flexible practices such as allowing intermittent leave to meet the needs of both employer and employee.

Can an employee use EFML if the employer reduces his hours to make up for the reduction?

No. If hours are reduced because the employer does not have work for an employee to perform, the employee may not use EFML (or EPSL) for the hours that s/he is no longer scheduled to work. This is because the employee is not prevented from working those hours due to a COVID-19 qualifying reason, even if the reduction in hours was somehow related to COVID-19.

Can employers require employees to give notice of the need for EFMLEA?

Yes.  Employers may require employees to give notice as soon as practicable.

If an employee previously used FMLA in the past 12 months, will that time be counted towards his/her leave allotment?

Maybe.  This will depend on the leave-year elected by your employer.  If your employer measures backwards, then the employer would need to determine how much leave was used during the past 12 months.  If the employee has used his/her 12 weeks of FMLA leave in the 12-month period prior to the request for EFML, s/he would not have any leave time available.  If measured forward or on a calendar or other 12-month period, s/he may have leave time available.

If an employee uses his/her 12 weeks of EFMLEA, can s/he access regular FMLA afterwards?

Maybe.  This will depend on the leave-year elected by your employer.  If your employer measures backwards, then the employee would not have any leave time remaining.  If measured forward or on a calendar or other 12-month period, s/he may have leave time available.

Can the employee extend his/her leave after the 12 weeks of EFMLEA is complete by using his/her own accrued paid leave (sick, annual)? 

Such a decision would be based upon the organization’s policies and its own determinations based upon the needs of the business.  Any leave beyond the initial protected leave under the EFML may not be a protected leave.

Can an employer require certification confirming an employee’s reason for EFMLEA (e.g., school closure)? 

Yes. The DOL has specified that employers may require supporting documentation from employees who are requesting leave under the Act, including: the employee’s name, qualifying reason for requesting leave, documentation supporting the reason for leave (such as a notice that has been posted on a government, school, or day care website), statement that the employee is unable to work, including telework, for that reason, and the date(s) for which leave is requested. Employers should be consistent with practices, prepare to offer flexibility to employees, use their best discretion and consideration for employees, and understand that certifications verifying the need for leave may come in various forms.  

What are reinstatement requirements?

EFMLEA is job-protected leave and, thus, employees have the right to return to their same or equivalent position.  However, the Act provides an exclusion for employers with fewer than 25 employees who are not able to reinstate employees whose position is eliminated due to economic conditions or other changes in operating conditions of the employer caused by COVID-19, and the employee is unable to reinstate to an equivalent position.

Are there tax credits for public-sector employers under the FFCRA to help recoup the cost of paid family medical leave?

No.  Governmental employers, including political subdivisions, are specifically excluded from receiving tax credits. (see Division G, Sec. 7003(e)(4)).

However, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed on March 27, 2020 by the president appropriates $150 billion toward COVID-19 relief for fiscal year 2020.  The vast majority of this amount will go to the states, however, only 45% of the state’s allocation is available for direct distribution to local governments. These funds will be distributed within 30 days of enactment.

Only localities with a population of more than 500,000 are eligible to receive a direct distribution.

A county, municipality, town, township, or other unit of general government below the State level with a population that exceed 500,000 may receive an amount equal to their pro rata share of the portion of state funds made available for direct distribution (again, only 45 % of the state’s allocated funds will be made available).  Pro rata calculations are based on the locality’s percentage of the state’s total population.

The inspector general of the Treasury is charged with conducting oversight of receipt and distribution.

How do we communicate these new benefits and requirements to our employees? 

Employers are required to post and keep posted Form WH-1422: Employee Rights: Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act in conspicuous places on the premises of the employer where notices to employees are customarily posted, no later than April 1, 2020 (the effective date of the Act). It is recommended teleworking employees be emailed a copy of the notice with a return receipt.   The notice can be accessed in the HR Resource Library in the DOL Guidance folder under COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Resources at www.poolpact.com to registered users.  It can also be accessed directly from the DOL’s website here.

Are there any sample policies?

POOL/PACT HR is working on creating and disseminating sample policies to our members.  Members will be notified as soon as policies are available. 

 

EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE ACT

What is the purpose of the Act?

The EPSLA was created to provide mandatory paid sick leave to employees affected by COVID-19.

When does EPSLA go into effect?

EPSLA is effective from April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.

The EPSLA retroactive?

No.  Any leave granted prior to April 1, 2020, would not fall under the provisions of this Act.

Are public employers covered?

Yes.  All employers with at least one employee are covered by the provisions of this Act.

What are qualifying reasons to use EPSL?

The Act specifies six conditions in which EPSL may be utilized: 

  1. The employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation related to COVID-19.
  2. The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
  3. The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking medical diagnosis.
  4. The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to an order of federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation related to COVID-19 or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
  5. The employee is caring for a minor child if the school or place of care of the child has been closed, or the childcare provider of such child is unavailable, due to COVID–19 precautions.
  6. The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar situation specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of Labor.

Who is covered?

All employees are covered; there is no length of employment requirement for employees to be eligible to use EPSLA.

Employers may exclude health care provider and emergency responders. 

Who is a health care provider which may be excluded?

A health care provider is anyone employed at any:

  • doctor’s office
  • hospital
  • health care center
  • clinic
  • post-secondary educational institution offering health care instruction
  • medical school
  • local health department or agency
  • nursing facility
  • retirement facility
  • nursing home
  • home health care provider
  • any facility that performs laboratory or medical testing, pharmacy, or any similar institution, employer, or entity

This includes any permanent or temporary institution, facility, location, or site where medical services are provided that are similar to such institutions.

Who is an “emergency responder” which may be excluded?

An emergency responder is an employee who is necessary for the provision of transport, care, health care, comfort, and nutrition of such patients, or whose services are otherwise needed to limit the spread of COVID-19. This includes but is not limited to:

  • military or national guard
  • law enforcement officers
  • correctional institution personnel
  • fire fighters
  • emergency medical services personnel
  • physicians
  • nurses
  • public health personnel
  • emergency medical technicians
  • paramedics
  • emergency management personnel
  • 911 operators
  • public works personnel
  • persons with skills or training in operating specialized equipment or other skills needed to provide aid in a declared emergency
  • individuals who work for such facilities employing these individuals and whose work is necessary to maintain the operation of the facility

Are seasonal and temporary employees eligible?

Yes.  All employees are eligible, including full-time and part-time employees, and “joint employees” working for the employer temporarily and/or through a temp agency. However, as stated above health care providers and emergency responders may be exempt.

Are substitute teachers eligible?

As the DOL has not yet issued its regulation on the Act, it is unclear whether substitute teachers are eligible.  However, other out-of-state districts have determined their substitute teachers are not eligible since they are “waiting to be called”.  That is, the employer is unable to ascertain whether the substitute was going to work on a given day in the future, and as school districts are shut down, substitutes have no expectation of working.  Some of these out of state districts are sending their substitute teachers layoff notices.  It is important to note that long-term subs may be covered, however. 

How much paid sick leave will the eligible employee receive?

Full-time employees will receive up to 80 hours of paid sick leave.

Part-time employees will receive the number of hours equal to the number of hours s/he works on average over two weeks.  If a part-time employee works varying hours to such an extent that the employer is unable to determine with certainty the number of hours the employee would have worked if leave had not been taken, the employer should look at the average number of hours the employee was scheduled over the past six months; or if the employee had not worked the past six months, the employer should use the reasonable expectation of the number of hours the employee would normally be scheduled to work.

How much will an eligible employee be paid for the sick leave?

Employees will receive 100% of their regular rate of pay for reasons related to the employee’s own quarantine, isolation, or symptoms of COVID-19 (items 1-3 above) up to a maximum of $511 per day.

Employees will receive up to 2/3 of their regular rate of pay for reasons related to the employee’s need to care for an individual who is isolated or quarantined, or to care for a minor child due to a school/childcare closure, or the employee is experiencing any other substantially similar situation (items 4-6 above) up to a maximum of $200 per day.

Examples:

An employee who makes $400 per day takes EPSL due to being advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19 (item 2 above).  The employee would receive up to 80 hours of pay at 100% ($400).  If the employee made $600 per day, he would only receive $511 per day, the maximum amount.

An employee who makes $250 per day takes EPSL to care for his child due to school closure (item 5 above), he will be paid at least 2/3 of his regular rate of pay up to $167 per day.  If the employee made $400 per day, he would only receive $200 per day, the maximum amount.

When calculating pay due to employees, must overtime hours be included?

Yes. However, the EPSLA requires paid sick leave be paid only up to 80 hours over a two-week period. For example, an employee who is scheduled to work 50 hours a week may take 50 hours of paid sick leave in the first week and 30 hours of paid sick leave in the second week. In any event, the total number of hours paid under the EPSLA is capped at 80.

If the employee’s schedule varies from week to week, then average the employee’s hours using the same method as for part-time employees.

Can an employee substitute accrued paid leave for the other 1/3 of pay?

Yes.  If the employer chooses to allow it, employees may substitute paid leave for the pay not covered by the EPSLA.  However, EPSL hours must be used prior to any accrued leave being applied.

Can an employee take EPSL intermittently and in partial day increments?

Maybe, depending on the qualifying reason for leave and whether the employee is teleworking or working at the regular worksite.

Telework: The employer may allow teleworking employees to take EPSL intermittently if the employee is unable to work their telework schedule due to a qualified reason for EPSL. Leave may be taken in any increments agreed upon by the employer and employee. 

Regular Worksite: The employer may allow a non-teleworking employee to take EPSL intermittently if the qualifying reason is solely because s/he is caring for a minor child if the school or place of care of the child has been closed, or the childcare provider of such child is unavailable, due to COVID–19 precautions.

Intermittent leave is not permitted for non-teleworking employees if the need for EPSL includes any of the other five qualifying reasons involving the employee’s own quarantine, isolation, or symptoms of COVID-19 or the employee’s need to care for an individual who is isolated or quarantined, , or the employee is experiencing any other substantially similar situation. An employee who has begun EPSL for one or more of these five qualifying reasons must continue to take paid sick leave each day until the employee (1) exhausts the full amount of EPSL or (2) the qualifying reason for taking EPSL no longer exists.

Employers should specify in their policy under what circumstances intermittent leave may be allowed and define the smallest increment of time in which leave can be taken. The Department of Labor encourages employers to adopt flexible practices such as allowing intermittent leave to meet the needs of both employer and employee.

Can the employee and employer agree to a schedule change?

Yes. If the employee and employer agree that the employee will work his/her normal number of hours, but outside of the employee’s normally scheduled hours (e.g., early in the morning, late at night, or weekends), then EPSL is not necessary (unless a COVID-19 qualifying reason prevents the employee from working that schedule).

Can an employee use EPSL if the employer reduces his hours to make up for the reduction?

No. If hours are reduced because the employer does not have work for an employee to perform, the employee may not use EPSL (or EFML) for the hours that s/he is no longer scheduled to work. This is because the employee is not prevented from working those hours due to a COVID-19 qualifying reason, even if the reduction in hours was somehow related to COVID-19.

Can employers require employees to give notice of the need for EPSL?

Yes.  After the first workday (or portion thereof) an employee receives paid sick time under this Act, an employer may require the employee to follow reasonable notice procedures in order to continue receiving such paid sick time.

Can employers request medical certification or other documentation confirming the employee’s need for EPSL?

Yes. The DOL has specified that employers may require supporting documentation from employees who are requesting leave under the Act such as: the employee’s name, qualifying reason for requesting leave, documentation supporting the reason for leave (such as the source of any quarantine or isolation order), statement that the employee is unable to work, including telework, for that reason, and the date(s) for which leave is requested. Employers should be consistent with practices, prepare to offer flexibility to employees, use their best discretion and consideration for employees, and understand that certifications verifying the need for leave may come in various forms

Are there tax credits for public-sector employers under the FFCRA to help recoup the cost of paid family medical leave?

No.  Governmental employers, including political subdivisions, are specifically excluded from receiving tax credits. (see Division G, Sec. 7001(e)(4)).

However, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed on March 27, 2020 by the president appropriates $150 billion toward COVID-19 relief for fiscal year 2020.  The vast majority of this amount will go to the states, however, only 45% of the state’s allocation is available for direct distribution to local governments. These funds will be distributed within 30 days of enactment.

Only localities with a population of more than 500,000 are eligible to receive a direct distribution.

A county, municipality, town, township, or other unit of general government below the State level with a population that exceed 500,000 may receive an amount equal to their pro rata share of the portion of state funds made available for direct distribution (again, only 45 % of the state’s allocated funds will be made available).  Pro rata calculations are based on the locality’s percentage of the state’s total population.

The inspector general of the Treasury is charged with conducting oversight of receipt and distribution.

How do we communicate these new benefits and requirements to our employees? 

Employers are required to post and keep posted Form WH-1422: Employee Rights: Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act in conspicuous places on the premises of the employer where notices to employees are customarily posted, no later than April 1, 2020 (the effective date of the Act).  It is recommended teleworking employees be emailed a copy of the notice with a return receipt.  The notice can be accessed in the HR Resource Library in the DOL Guidance folder under COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Resources at www.poolpact.com to registered users.  It can also be accessed directly from the DOL’s website here.

Are there any sample policies?

POOL/PACT HR is working on creating and disseminating sample policies to our members.  Members will be notified as soon as policies are available. 

 

OVERLAP BETWEEN EMERGENCY FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE EXPANSION ACT AND EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE ACT

Do the two Acts overlap?

Yes.  The need for leave to care for a minor child due to school or childcare closure falls under reasons for use of both the EFMLEA and EPSLA.  The EFMLEA allows for employees to substitute paid leave for the first ten days of his/her 12-week allotment.  As the EPSLA requires employers to implement EPSL prior to an employee using his/her accrued paid leave, if the employee elects to use paid leave during this time and has not already received EPSL time, EPSL would be paid during these first ten days of EFML.

Examples:

A full-time employee’s son’s school is closed due to COVID-19.  The employee has worked for the organization for more than 30 days and is eligible for EFML.  The first 10 days of EFML would be paid at 2/3 under the EPSLA, up to $200 per day, and the employee could elect to supplement 1/3 of her pay with accrued paid leave.  After the initial ten days, she would receive 2/3 of her pay up to $200 per day under EFMLEA, and the employee could supplement 1/3 of her pay with accrued paid leave.

A full-time employee takes EPSL due to being advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.  He receives 100% of his pay for 80 hours of work, up to $511 per day.  He returns to work and a few days later his daughter’s childcare facility shuts down.  He is then eligible to take up to 12 weeks of EFML.  In this case, the first ten days of EFML would be unpaid, but he could elect to substitute his own accrued paid leave.  After the initial ten days, he would receive 2/3 of his pay up to $200 per day.  He could utilize his accrued paid leave for the other 1/3 of his pay during this time.

 

INTERACTION WITH ADA

Does the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) interfere with employers following advice from the CDC and other public health authorities?

No.  The EEOC has stated the ADA should not interfere with employers following advice from the CDC and other public health authorities.

Can an employer mandate an employee with COVID-type symptoms stay home?

Yes.  The EEOC has said employers may take safety measures, such as mandating employees with COVID-type symptoms stay home.  Employer should take care to ensure similarly situated situations are treated the same.

Can employer restrict employee’s non-work-related travel?

No.  Employers may not prevent an employee from traveling for his/her own non-business reasons, but employers may restrict their ability to return to work until they are cleared. 

Employers may ask a returning employee questions about exposure to COVID-19 during a trip.  The EEOC does not consider these types of questions to be disability- related, rather they fall under the direct threat analysis. 

Can an employer identify which employees are more likely to be unavailable for work in the event of a pandemic?

Yes.  Employers may make inquiries that are not disability related.  It is not disability-related if it is designed to identify potential non-medical reasons for absence during a pandemic on equal footing with medical reasons.  Employers should only ask questions that can be answered “yes” or “no” to the whole question without specifying the factor(s) that apply to the employee.  The answer need not be anonymous.  The EEOC has included an “ADA-Compliant Pre-pandemic Employee Survey” in its guidance entitled, “Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans With Disabilities Act”.  This document is available in our HR Library under the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Resources folder at www.poolpact.com.  It can also be accessed directly from the EEOC’s website here.

How much can an employer ask an employee?

Employers may ask if employees are experiencing flu-like symptoms such as fevers or chills and a cough or sore throat.  All inquiries must be kept confidential.  The EEOC does not consider these types of questions to be disability- related, rather they fall under the direct threat analysis.

Can an employer take its employees’ temperature to determine whether they have a fever?

Because of the directives of the CDC related to COVID-19, employers may measure employees’ body temperature.  The fact that an employee has a fever or other symptoms must be kept confidential.

Can I ask employees who do not have COVID symptoms to disclose whether they have a medical condition that CDC says could make them especially vulnerable?

No.  That is a disability-related inquiry.  If employee voluntarily discloses that s/he has a specific medical condition or disability that puts him or her at increased risk of complications, it must be kept confidential.  Employer may ask what assistance the employee wants or needs (i.e., telework or time off for doctor appointment). 

Where can an employer attain more information about the ADA and COVID-19?

The EEOC has released guidance entitled, “Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans With Disabilities Act”.  This document is available in our HR Library under the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Resources folder at www.poolpact.com.  It can also be accessed directly from the EEOC’s website here.

 

INTERACTION WITH OSHA

Is COVID-19 a recordable illness under OSHA?

Yes, if a worker is infected as a result of performing their work-related duties.  While the recordkeeping regulations generally exempt the “common cold and flu,” COVID-19 is not considered a common cold or flu and thus, COVID-19 can be a recordable illness.  OSHA has indicated that employers are only responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if all of the following are met:

  • The case is a confirmed case of COVID-19,
  • The case is work-related as defined by OSHA regulations, and
  • The case involves one or more of OSHA’s general recording criteria (e.g., days away from work, job transfer, and medical treatment.)

Are OSHA-300 reporting requirements the same?

Yes.  At this time there have been no changes on how often an employer must compete the OSHA-300 log.

 

INTERACTION WITH UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

Can furloughed employees due to COVID-19 receive Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits?

Yes.  UI benefits may be available for eligible individuals who are out of work and no longer receiving pay from their employer as a consequence of COVID-19, if otherwise eligible.

Can employees who have a reduction in hours due to COVID-19 receive UI benefits?

Maybe.  If an employee is still working, but his/her regular hours of work have been reduced, depending on the number of hours that have been reduced and the amount of earning for the week, the employee may be eligible for reduced UI benefits.

Are the benefits the same as before the COVID-19 outbreak?

No. The CARES Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020, increased the amount for displaced workers by $600 per week for four months on top of their state unemployment benefits.

For more information on unemployment insurance benefits, please see POOL/PACT HR’s notice: Unemployment Benefits Extended for Employees Affected by COVID-19 which can be accessed in the HR Resource Library in the COVID-19 POOL/PACT HR RESOURCES folder under COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Resources at www.poolpact.com.

 

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