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Temporary workplace shutdowns

As a result of COVID-19, many workplaces have had to shutdown temporarily to comply with the order for non-essential businesses to close.

The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) and the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) have expanded unemployment benefits eligibility to include part-time and full-time employees impacted by temporary shutdowns due to COVID-19.

Conditions for employees claiming unemployment benefits during temporary shutdowns

For an employee to receive unemployment benefits while impacted by a temporary shutdown, you must:

  • Maintain contact with your employer throughout the temporary shutdown
  • Remain available for any work your employer may have for you that you're are able to do

Employers may request to extend the period of a covered shutdown up to 8 weeks. During this, employees will remain eligible for unemployment benefits for this longer period under the same conditions. Additionally, the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) may extend these time periods for both employees and employers as needed.

Employer responsibilities for during temporary shutdowns

The Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has put together an Employer Unemployment FAQ for COVID-19 that directly answers common questions regarding employer responsibilities and other unemployment-related scenarios employers may find relevant.

Employers are able to request to extend the period of their covered shutdown up to 8 weeks with employees remaining eligible for benefits utilizing the same conditions. As noted above, the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) may extend these time periods for both employees and employers as needed.

Additionally, employers who have paid into the system for themselves, in which they receive a W-2, are eligible under these guidelines as well.

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