25 Mar Unemployment Benefits
As explained in our previous posts, on March 18th the Federal government and New York State each passed independent emergency legislation guaranteeing job protection and pay for New Yorkers who have been quarantined as a result of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. Two days later, on March 20th, Governor Cuomo issued a stay-at-home order for all nonessential New York workers. The stay-at-home order is the equivalent of a complete and immediate shutdown for many businesses throughout the State of New York.
We understand there is a tremendous amount of confusion relative to how the different laws and the governor’s order impact businesses, employer obligations, and so forth. It is important to note the Federal and NYS provisions are directed towards quarantine orders and, in the case of the federal legislation, child and dependent care considerations. Please note the NYS Unemployment website and the FAQ of the NYS law indicate, “Employees who are unable to work because their employer is closed for a reason related to COVID-19 are now immediately able to apply and receive unemployment benefits.”
During this unprecedented time, NYS has waived the normal unemployment waiting period of one-week to claim unemployment insurance benefits. Furthermore, if you are filing a new unemployment insurance claim, the day to file is based on the first letter of the applicant’s last name. If the applicant’s last name starts with A – F, file the claim on Monday. For last names starting with G – N, file the claim on Tuesday. For last names starting with O – Z, file the claim on Wednesday. If the applicant’s filing day is missed, file the claim on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Filing later in the week will not delay your payments or affect the date of your claim, since all claims are effective on the Monday of the week in which they are filed.
As stated in our previous posts, information is changing rapidly and we will do our best providing updates as they become available. We strongly recommend employers contact their Labor Law Attorney and/or HR Consultant regarding navigating their obligations. We can assist in making an introduction as-needed.