Relaunch: A Quick Reference Guide
The chamber is offering this resource guide to help businesses prepare to reopen successfully. This guide, produced with the help of some of our advertising agency members, is aimed at helping our members know what messaging and marketing tactics to use as they reopen, how to adapt to the new normal, win customers back and ultimately grow their business.
Rehiring Furloughed Employees
As businesses begin to reopen and rehire, there’s important information for employers to be aware of and to communicate to any furloughed employees that are being offered a return to work. The Department of Labor has issued guidance regarding the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for such employees. The same guidance applies to Arkansas Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). The U.S. Department of Labor website, linked HERE, contains a “frequently asked questions” section. The excerpt below answers the question for employees wondering what an offer to rehire means for their unemployment assistance.
I was furloughed by my employer, but they have now reopened and asked me to return to my job. Can I remain on unemployment?
No. As a general matter, individuals receiving regular unemployment compensation must act upon any referral to suitable employment and must accept any offer of suitable employment. Barring unusual circumstances, a request that a furloughed employee return to his or her job very likely constitutes an offer of suitable employment that the employee must accept. As soon as the business reopens and the employee is recalled for work, as in the example above, eligibility for PUA would cease unless the individual could identify some other qualifying circumstance outlined in the CARES Act.
Additionally, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Generally, the FFCRA provides that covered employers must provide to all employees:
- Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
- Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine.
For more information on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act visit: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employer-paid-leave
For employers, the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services (ADWS) directs you to the following resource which includes the procedure for reporting offers made to furloughed employees: https://www.dws.arkansas.gov/employers/ui-employer-services/
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