May 7, 2020
Contact: Katherine Trombetta, Missouri Job Center
417-841-3389 or 417-880-6306
Missouri Dept of Labor Releases Guidance on Unemployment Benefits for Those Who Refuse to Return to Work Without Good Cause
As businesses in the Ozark Region begin to reopen in accordance with guidance under the Show Me Strong Recovery Plan, employees should expect to be called back to work by employers in the coming weeks starting this week.
It’s important to keep in mind that workers who have been placed on a temporary layoff related to COVID-19 but refuse to return to work when recalled by their employer will lose unemployment benefits, except for certain circumstances including:
· If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and are experiencing symptoms
· If you have recovered from COVID-19 but it caused medical complications rendering you unable to perform essential job duties
· If a member of your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19
· If you are providing care for a member of your household who was diagnosed with COVID-19
· If you do not have childcare due to COVID-19 reasons
· If you do not have transportation to your place of work because of COVID-19
Employees in any of these positions are strongly encouraged to work with their employer in the best way to handle the situation to return to work including any availability for working remotely. The full list of circumstances covered under the CARES Act can be found on the Missouri Department of Labor’s (DOLIR’s) website, labor.mo.gov/coronavirus, under the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Unemployment tab, FAQ #8.
The DOLIR’s Division of Employment Security (DES) reports that refusing to return to work when recalled for any other reason, or in an attempt to continue to draw unemployment benefits will be considered a "voluntary quit" which would disqualify a claimant from receiving benefits, including the $600 weekly Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) supplement.
An employee who is recalled on a part-time basis may continue to be eligible for benefits depending on the amount of wages they earn; those individuals should continue filing their weekly requests for payment and report the gross wages earned each week. Additionally, the self-employed should continue to report their weekly gross income as part of their continuing claims as they return to work.
The Missouri Job Center is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services available to individuals with disabilities. MO TTY users may call 800-735-2966 or contact MO Relay at 711.