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Refusal to Return to Work

Meeting Small Businesses’ New Needs
June 5, 2020
The SBA has issued new forgiveness guidance
June 17, 2020

Many employers are finding it difficult to get employees to return to work due to the enhanced unemployment benefits that are available through July 31 or because of ongoing concern about COVID-19 risks.

  • In order to be eligible for unemployment benefits, both regular state benefits and enhanced federal benefits, employees who were laid off or furloughed due to COVID-19 must certify that they are available for work and have not been offered employment (FYI, this is true for unemployment any time, not just in the current situation). If the employer has made a rehire offer (preferably in writing) and the employee does not return to work, then he or she is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits. The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) has created an online form for employers to report work refusal: https://www2.laworks.net/CARESact/UI_ROW_Create.asp. Employees who refuse to return to work will be required to return any unemployment benefits that are received erroneously.
  • Another reason that employees may give for not wanting to return to work is concern about exposing someone else who is at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 due to an underlying medical condition. The EEOC issued Technical Assistance Questions and Answers on June 11 that clarify that the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not require an employer to accommodate an employee based on disability-related needs of a family member or other person with whom he or she is associated. Employers should however take reasonable precautions to protect employees from exposure to COVID-19.
  • Employees are still eligible for paid leave in certain circumstances under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

An HR professional can help you with this and all of your human resources needs. From hiring the right employees, running background checks, creating employee handbooks that include anti-harassment policies and procedures, and so much more, Next Level Solutions can work with you to provide the services that you need to run your business.