States Warn That Workers Will Lose Unemployment If They Refuse To Return To Jobs

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds.Screengrab/Iowa PBS/YouTube

JakeThomas

Workers who worry about contracting the coronavirus will not be granted an exception.

As states begin to reopen their economies after weeks of stay-at-home orders, some are warning employees that they will lose unemployment benefits if they refuse to return to their jobs, according to The Hill — even if they fear contracting the coronavirus.

In Iowa, Governor Kim Reynolds (R) said failing to return to work would be considered a “voluntary quit,” which would terminate an employee’s benefits.

"If you're an employer and you offer to bring your employee back to work and they decide not to, that's a voluntary quit," Reynolds said Friday. "Therefore, they would not be eligible for the unemployment money."

The governor also said employers should file a report with Iowa Workforce Development if they encounter workers who refuse to come back to their jobs.

Beginning on May 1, the state will start lifting social distancing restrictions in 77 of its 99 counties, The Hill reported, which will allow “restaurants, fitness centers, malls, libraries, race tracks, and certain other retail establishments to reopen in a limited fashion with public health measures in place.”

Those 77 counties have seen a decline in new cases or no new cases at all over the past two weeks, according to Reynolds, which means they have met a key requirement set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for states looking to reopen.

A similar situation is playing out in Texas, where Republican Governor Greg Abbott announced that businesses can reopen on Friday.

Cisco Gamez, a Texas Workforce Commission spokesman, told the Texas Tribune that employees who choose not to return to work will become ineligible for unemployment benefits.

The Hill noted that more than 25 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits since mid-March, as businesses began shutting their doors due to the pandemic.

Read the full report.

Comments (7)
No. 1-7
Killtheswamp
Killtheswamp

You greedy scumbags will kill thousands who don't have to die. Stupid mother fuckers.

marehare
marehare

Time for a class action against all states that force people back to work in virus infected plants that the USDA, CDC and OSHA aren't inspecting and making sure are safe. The rich owners should be made to pay for all workers health insurance, GOP and Trump are thinking about is their rich supporters donating to them. They don't care about you or me.

illutian
illutian

I say go for it. BUT. Anyone who dies because they were forced to return to work; the families should be able to bring murder charges against the governor.

... After all, what would happen to me if I forced someone into a situation I knew was life-threatening, and they died? Would I get away 'scott free'?

((But what about the employers, you all. Oh, Mitch "the Russian's Bitch" McConnell is working to absolve employers of wrong-doing for anything COVID19-related.))

Phil B.
Phil B.

Red states of course.

ktkat1949
ktkat1949

The GOP and Trump et all don't care if they have to wade hip deep through corpses as long as they keep on making money. This is something that has to change when the crisis passes. Having to choose between dying and your job is no choice at all. I would rather be unemployed than dead. At least that way I could vote against Trump and the GOP until my dying day!

TheWayTruthandLife
TheWayTruthandLife

The bottom line is this: if people are being called back to work, people should be excited to go back to work after being laid off/furloughed for going on two months. Most people will be excited to get back to work and make a paycheck for their family. It seems that some of you commenters are too busy worried about freebies and overhyped/overinflated numbers regarding this virus than people actually making money and having a life.

duxneal
duxneal

the job will most certainly open but if no one patronizes them hours cut you still wont be able to be in a better position than being on unemployment.


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