On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which provided additional flexibility for state unemployment insurance agencies and additional administrative funding to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27. It expands states’ ability to provide unemployment insurance for many workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including for workers who are not ordinarily eligible for unemployment benefits. For more information, please refer to the resources available below.
Can I be forced to work during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Generally, your employer may require you to come to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, some government emergency orders may affect which businesses can remain open during the pandemic. Under federal law, you are entitled to a safe workplace. Your employer must provide a safe and healthful workplace.
Who do I do if my employer refuses to provide me sick leave during the COVID-19 pandemic?
If you believe that your employer is covered and is improperly refusing you paid sick leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, the Department encourages you to raise and try to resolve your concerns with your employer. Regardless of whether you discuss your concerns with your employer, if you believe your employer is improperly refusing you paid sick leave, you may call 1-866-4US-WAGE (1-866-487-9243).
Am I eligible for PUA benefits if I quit my job because of COVID-19?
There are multiple qualifying circumstances related to COVID-19 that can make an individual eligible for PUA, including if the individual quits his or her job as a direct result of COVID-19. Quitting to access unemployment benefits is not one of them.
If both of you are healthy and feeling well, are practicing social distancing and have had no known exposure to anyone with COVID-19, touching, hugging, kissing, and sex are more likely to be safe.