COVID-19 UPDATE: Job Attached Unemployment March 13,2020
How to access Job Attached Unemployment.
In the wake of the COVID-19 virus, many restaurateurs are considering their options going forward, and many are considering what to do in worst-case scenarios. Although we have not received any indication from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) that they are expecting devastating results from the virus, the hospitality industry is already seeing the impacts. We have heard of several restaurant closures in Seattle, and we want to make sure that our members are aware of their options should we see similar impacts in Colorado.
First, please reach out to us if you are considering the implementation of emergency policies. There are potential legal ramifications for any policy you may be considering. Give us a call at 303-830-2972 to get a legal opinion from one of the attorneys in our Legal Resource Center.
If you are considering an extended closure of your restaurant and are concerned about the impacts on your employees, encourage them to seek Job Attached Unemployment Insurance benefits from the state. “Job Attached” means that the employee is expected to return to their most recent employer after a separation of up to 16 weeks. Restaurant employees may be entitled to this benefit should their employer decide an extended closure is necessary.
To receive benefits, employees must:
- Qualify for Job Attached Unemployment Insurance.
- Request payment every two weeks.
- Be physically and mentally able to work.
- Be available to work immediately upon the request of their employer.
- Tell the truth when requesting benefits.
- Depending on how their claim is processed, employees may or may not have their job search requirements waived by the Division. Encourage them to seek clarification on their requirements to receive benefits.
To begin collecting benefits, employees must estimate their potential lost payments
and file a claim
with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Divison of Insurance. Then they must register with the state Workforce Center and fill out all necessary paperwork posted to the Division website. Processing of claims may take four to six weeks to complete. Once the processing is complete, employees will either receive their requested payment or a notice of why the claim was denied. Alternative: the Work-Share Program
If you are thinking of laying off employees, you can also consider the Work-Share program. The Work-Share program provides an alternative to laying off employees by allowing them to keep working, but with fewer hours. While an employee is working fewer hours, they may be eligible to collect part of their unemployment benefits. The requirements for employers are:
Department fact sheet about the work-share programApplication for approval of the work-share program
- You must have reduced the normal weekly work hours by at least 10 percent, but by no more than 40 percent.
- The reduction must affect at least two out of all employees in the business.
- You must have paid as much in premiums as the state paid your former employees in unemployment insurance benefits.