As the country moves from crisis to reopening, most states are partially easing restrictions in a bid to restart their economies. The CDC has issued guidance for cleaning and disinfecting in order to reduce the risk of exposure of COVID-19. Reopening Guidance for Cleaning & Disinfecting can be found here and a tool for developing and implementing a cleaning and disinfecting plan can be found here.
Florida Phase 1 Reopening Executive Order
On Monday, May 4th Florida will enter Phase 1 of Governor DeSantis’ plan to reopening most of the State, with the exception of Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties. Although bars and fitness centers will remain closed, restaurants and retail stores may reopen with no more than 25% building occupancy indoors and social distancing continuing. The official order and FAQs may be found here.
Reopening and Unemployment FAQs
As states and businesses begin to reopen, employers have many questions about how their employees’ unemployment claims may be impacted. MBA has put together a brief list of FAQs to answer some of those questions. While specific information may vary based on the regulations of the state in which the business operates, these FAQs provide general information about the unemployment claim process. A directory of state unemployment agencies can be found here.
1. Can employees work while collecting unemployment?
Claimants can perform work while collecting unemployment benefits but are required to report any earnings. Claimants will generally not receive benefit payments for any weeks where they earn more than the weekly benefit amount for which they were approved. Additionally, employers may receive periodic wage audits for any employees collecting benefits. If employers’ reports of claimants’ earnings differ from claimants’ reports, the claimant may be required to repay any resulting over payments.
2. Can employees collect unemployment if they refuse an offer of work?
Most states require that claimants also report their attempts to search for work and any refusals of offers for work. The state agency will determine whether there was good cause to support the claimants’ refusal and then determine eligibility for continued benefits. Further, employers may also report any offers of work in the initial claim response or in the periodic wage audits received later.
3. How does an employee’s unemployment claim end?
Payments end when the balance runs out or the claim end date passes. If claimants work and/or earn more than their approved weekly benefit amount during a workweek, they do not need to request benefit payment for that week.
MBA provides assistance in responding to unemployment claims on behalf of our clients. Depending on your relationship with MBA and the state in which you operate, claims may be received directly by MBA or to the client’s address(es). If any unemployment correspondence are received directly, they may be forwarded to email@example.com for further action.
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