• The Work Share plan can last no more than 1 year (although a second plan may be filed right after an existing plan expires). Here's what workers should know if they expect their temporary job loss to become permanent. A furlough occurs when the employer is reducing the days or weeks an employee may perform work. An employer is not required to pay a non-exempt employee who is furloughed. The pandemic aid program dates back to Jan. 27, so those who lost jobs for COVID-19-related reasons should get a benefit starting from when they became unemployed. Employees must voluntarily consent to the pre-payment and can elect to make the payment on a pre-tax basis through a salary reduction (if the employer’s Section 125/Cafeteria Plan allows for it) or on a … Health insurance is a key driver to the furlough because most plans have limits on how long you can be on a leave of absence or a furlough. OPSL is applicable if an employee is prevented from physically attending work due to a public health emergency, even if they are not personally symptomatic. Employers, other than agricultural or domestic employers, who: • Pay $1000 or more to employees in a calendar quarter, or • Have one or more employees in each of 18 separate weeks during any calendar year. What's the difference between being furloughed and laid off? In Oregon, you may qualify for benefits. Yes. You can get federal aid, even if your state doesn't provide it. But under the federal relief bill, everyone will get an additional $600 a week until July 31. To help struggling Americans, Congress passed a $2.2 trillion federal relief package two weeks ago, including a big boost to unemployment insurance benefits that allow more people to qualify and offers more money for a longer period of time. To apply, you can file online. But such coverage can be very expensive. In Oregon, go to www.oregon.gov/employ/unemployment. Do employers pay for health benefits for furloughed workers? No. "You should apply where you work, not where you live,'' says Evermore, adding that your company is paying taxes in the state where you do your job, and those officials will have all your relevant information on file. It can be as brief or as long as the employer wants. In such a situation, it is common element of a furlough that the employee can remain on their employer’s group benefits (i.e., health insurance). Under Oregon’s anti-discrimination laws relating to age (the elderly) and disabilities (individuals with chronic health conditions), permitting home work as a reasonable accommodation, where possible and not an undue hardship on the business, may be legally required. Oregon Stat. All employers are encouraged to continue re-examining their policies as COVID-19 issues continue to develop. Yes. Employers should make sure employees understand any relevant policies and might consider reminding staff of such policies. You would be eligible for partial unemployment insurance. But you may still need to go online weekly to confirm you're still unemployed. You also can call Oregon’s Unemployment Department at 503-947-1394. Pre-payment: Employers can allow employees to pre-pay premiums prior to any furlough. Can I get more assistance? You can be furloughed whether you are on a full-time, part-time, agency, flexible or zero-hour contract, but you must have been on your employer's payroll before the extension was announced. A: Yes. Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA). Unemployment insurance is a joint program between the federal government and the states set up to provide some money to people who are trying to get a job but can't find one. "If there’s language in (the employee benefit plan) that allows for a continuation of health coverage during short periods of leave, the employer could continue the personal health care coverage,'' Clayton says. You can reapply and you should be able to receive the additional 13 weeks of payments provided by the federal government and the $600 in additional weekly pay. If the paycheck is late, a court can order the employer to pay wages for up to 30 days at the employee’s usual daily rate, starting from the day they leave the company until the final paycheck is paid. If you receive those benefits, next year you should get a 1099G form to report that income. But under the CARES Act, anyone who is still out of work when their state benefit period runs out will be able to get payments for an additional 13 weeks from the federal government. Employers should stay apprised of additional legislative, regulatory, and other developments as the situation continues to unfold and should consult counsel with questions. Our extensive Littler guidance is available here, and those materials broadly address topics such as preventative measures, what to do if an employee tests positive, and general considerations for furloughs and wage and hour law. Do I qualify for unemployment? For example, exempt employees (salaried management, professionals, and executives) are entitled to the same pay for working a partial week as they would be for working a full week. But you can increase your contribution if you want to make up for the time you missed. Donation programs should be implemented pursuant to a specific policy. Now the job search requirement is generally being waived. An employer may be limited in its furlough or layoff decisions by the terms of an employment contract. Yes. Oregon Paid Sick Leave (OPSL). You can get benefits in either case. The FFCRA, if enacted, will require employers with … Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA). But furloughs don't bring those costs and could help companies get back up to speed quickly when they can bring workers back online. A record 6.65 million Americans filed first-time jobless claims last week, the Labor Department said Thursday. Consistent with company policy, employers may permit otherwise healthy employees, who are not working, to stay home on an unpaid leave basis, if the employee wishes to save their sick leave; but if OPSL is requested, it must be provided. What about health insurance? You can put the employee on furlough as long as they were employed by you on or before 30 October 2020. It's up to your state, but yes, you could receive unemployment benefits for each of those scenarios. Typically, some states offer fewer weeks of benefits than others. Yes. Unemployment Benefits. Q: Is federal paid sick leave in the works? What if I work part-time and lose my job because of the virus? A layoff, on the other hand, is generally more permanent, with an uncertain return to work at best. Get unemployment benefit resources in Oregon at https://govstatus.egov.com/ORUnemployment_COVID19. In Oregon, the "waiting week" is still in effect. There are many resources available on the numerous national (and international) issues to consider in this crisis. Federal officials are giving states leeway because of the pandemic, so yes, your state could give you unemployment insurance benefits if your job site shuts down due to the virus. Will the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act from the government grant more access to benefits, or make it more difficult? All recipients will receive the extra $600 a week. If an employer’s plans change and a temporary furlough extends beyond six months or becomes a permanent layoff, then the WARN Act’s notice obligations can be triggered. In general, if an employer reduces the hours of a nonexempt employee, the employee must be paid only for the hours actually worked. The issue can be complicated, but generally federal law (the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, known as WARN) requires that most employers with over 100 workers provide 60 days advance notice in the event of mass layoffs where workers are not expected to return to work within six months. The WARN Act’s requirements generally do not apply to furloughs if employers communicate to employees that the furlough is temporary and that employees will return to their jobs within six months. The formula for figuring out how much aid you can get varies by state, but you should be able to receive some financial assistance. The extent to which this regulation requires proactive measures before a known infection in the workplace is unclear. Here are answers to those questions and more: What is unemployment insurance and how do I get it? Oregon law also provides a $1,000 civil penalty for willful failure to pay wages at termination as well as costs, interest and attorney fees. This article will not revisit the basics of the virus or macro issues that arise as a result. Employers are urged to take all available precautions to mitigate the risks of contamination in the workplace while respecting individual privacy rights. Furlough/Layoff Considerations. Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA). Oregon furloughs workers, slow bounce back expected Leaders to balance limited revenues, increase needs ... Pennsylvania laid off or temporarily stopped paying 16,500 state employees… Oregon Employer Liability. There also won't automatically be catch-up deductions when you return to work. The Register-Guard ~ 3500 Chad Drive, Suite 600, Eugene, OR 97408 ~ Do Not Sell My Personal Information ~ Cookie Policy ~ Do Not Sell My Personal Information ~ Privacy Policy ~ Terms Of Service ~ Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy, Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. Employers will continue to pay furloughed staff 80% of their usual wages up to £2,500 per month – or more if that's been agreed with the employee or worker. My workplace shut down before I could start my new job, or I was laid off soon after I started. Those who worked in states like Florida where the initial period is only 12 weeks, would be eligible for the unemployment program specifically pegged to the pandemic, which tacks on another 14 weeks. An employer will suspend the work of most or all employees and send them home without pay. Under the OPSL law, employers with six or more employees in Portland, or 10 or more employees in the rest of the state, are required to provide employees with a minimum of 40 hours paid sick leave per year, which may be used after the employee’s 90th day of work. How long will the COVID-19 related federal program last? There is no specific Oregon law requiring notice to employees of a mass layoff, although an employer may need to notify the Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development agency of a layoff that otherwise qualifies for federal WARN. University of Oregon President Michael H. Schill recently announced that 282 employees will be furloughed in order to address “the immediate net revenue loss” during what are “far from normal times,” according to his statement posted to the university’s website. Employees working significantly reduced work schedules will also likely be entitled to benefits, which are calculated based on formulas with the applicable state agency. What if I still have a job, but I can't work because I'm quarantined? If you work in one state and live in another, where do you put in your claim? Americans are increasingly worried about how they are going to pay their bills as the coronavirus forces businesses to close and costs millions of people their jobs. It is up to the employer to permit the carry-over of annual unused vacation time and determine how many days employees can carry over. Federal employees who were either furloughed or worked without pay due to the partial federal government shutdown, received unemployment insurance benefits, and received back pay after the shutdown ended may be required to pay the unemployment insurance benefits back. Is there a waiting period before you can apply for or receive benefits? So if an employer reduces the hours of employees by 50 percent and this lasts for over six months, then a … © Gannett Co., Inc. 2021. In fact, the maximum amount of time that a company should furlough an employee is one year. Depending on how long the furlough lasts, employers may need to consider how a furlough in 2020 may affect the determination of full-time employee status for health coverage in the 2021 plan year. Retail giants furlough workers amid pandemic 04:19 Through these various steps, all those who are out of work will be able to get assistance for up to 39 weeks. Diversity & Inclusion Training and Consulting, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Littler Restructuring Assessment Solution, Workplace Safety and Health (OSHA & MSHA), Leaves of Absence and Disability Accommodation, New Oregon Law Imposes Scheduling and Working Hours Obligations on Employers, Furloughs and Other Temporary Responses to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disruptions, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for Business Preparedness. Exceptions exist, however, for work interruptions due to the cancellation of events, or on the recommendations of a public health official. "Getting rid of the waiting week doesn't have anything to do with processing times,'' says Evermore, adding that before the current crisis, it could take two to three weeks for your first check to arrive. Oregon employers have a duty to provide a place of employment, free from recognized hazards that cause or are likely to cause the death or serious physical harm to employees. Because of COVID-19, your state can choose to provide you with financial assistance while you are off work. It depends on the state and it's not clear how the federal relief act may impact those rules. I'm currently getting unemployment. The maximum weekly benefit varies by state. On February 15, 2019, the President signed a spending package to fund the federal government. An employer can substitute or reduce an exempt employee's accrued leave (or run a negative leave balance) for the time an employee is absent from work, even if it is less than a full day and even if the absence is directed by the employer because of lack of work, without affecting the salary basis payment, provided that the employee still receives payment equal to the employee's predetermined salary in any … They do not need to have been on furlough before. Inadequate staffing and antiquated computer systems may also slow down the acceptance of claims. When a furlough is for less than one full workweek and a salaried, exempt worker performs any work during that week, the employer must pay the exempt employee's full weekly salary. "As long as your employer tells you that you can’t come to work and they’re not going to pay you ... (you're) unemployed for the purposes of collecting unemployment,’’ Evermore says. Employers must select people for furlough in a fair way to avoid any discrimination. For example, an employer can tell an employee that no work is available and that the employee should stay home on unpaid leave for the next month. Otherwise healthy employees may be required to stay home, not work, and exhaust any personally available OPSL, subject to the public health emergency provision. For instance, in Florida, it tops out at $275 while in Oregon, the maximum is $648. I gave my two week notice. The surge in jobless claims is being fueled by the growing number of companies, including Marriott, Macy's and GE, that have announced layoffs or furloughs as they try to weather the economic storm caused by the pandemic. Non-exempt workers must have clearly established systems for tracking hours and required breaks. Given the continued spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and its implications, employers are confronting difficult questions regarding how to handle safety and health rules, travel restrictions, privacy of employees’ health information, compensation, and other employment and labor issues. • Employees under the plan must have worked for the employer continuously for 6 months on a full-time basis or for 1 year on a part-time basis. The required reduction can be severe. Do you have to check in regularly to continue getting benefits? Therefore, employers should implement employee furloughs only if they plan to recall the employee on furlough within one year. For instance, if you contribute 3% of your pay per check to your 401(k) and are furloughed for two weeks, your first check back will be minus 3%. Remote Work. Follow Charisse Jones on Twitter @charissejones Contributing: Jazmin Goodwin. In case of dispute over wages between an employer and employee, the employer must timely pay all wages conceded by the employer to be due, leaving the employee all remedies the employee might otherwise have or be entitled to as to any balance the employee might claim. WARN-like Notice. In Oregon, among other things, misconduct means an intentional violation of the employer’s rules, the failure to conform to standards which an employer can reasonably expect from an employee, or careless behavior that is so frequent or severe that it shows a disregard for the employer’s interests. All rights reserved. ... and many states are asking employers to let them know up front when they have laid off employees… This is a mandatory suspension from work that can last briefly or as long as the employer desires. Employee Benefits and Furloughs in the Era of COVID-19. Can I get benefits? So how do you file? If an employee is symptomatic, there should not be a penalty for sending them home without pay under this law. If I have two jobs, and I lose one, can I apply for unemployment? Previously some states made people wait a week before applying for benefits, but the federal relief bill encourages states to waive that waiting period, and many states have done so because of the pandemic. The benefit has also been enhanced by the CARES Act passed by the federal government last week. If your employer is not going to continue covering your health insurance during your furlough period, you should be able to pay for your company health plan on your own through COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act). Employers considering any work at home arrangements should strive to set concrete expectations for what is required, including work hours, availability, and productivity. Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license, except where noted. Furloughed workers remain on the payroll, but must take some time off without pay. Yes. Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney. Employers with more than 25 employees must provide qualifying employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for their own, or a family member’s, serious medical condition. Where do I file my jobless claim? With certain exceptions, employers may limit this liability to 100% of unpaid wages by paying final wages within 12 days of written notice from the employee that wages remain due. I live in one state but work in another. The company might also help cover your payment. Can I file a jobless claim if I work for myself or in the gig economy? Furloughs can take place in both public and private institutions. The deduction will not be doubled. Employers can put someone on furlough, as long as they were employed on or before 30 October 2020. Independent contractors, freelancers and gig workers will be able to get benefits through a new pandemic assistance program established by the CARES Act. Who can be furloughed. What if I leave my job because of a risk of exposure to the virus, or to take care of a relative who's been infected? Oregon law says that if a final paycheck hasn’t been paid properly, an employer may also have to pay a “penalty wage” to the employee. What if my workplace temporarily shuts down because of COVID-19 and I can't go work? That said, privacy laws prevent employers from sharing any specific medical information of another employee. by the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group. OFLA would be triggered for COVID-19 if the employee is personally ill or caring for a family member who is ill.  An employer should provide an employee invoking OFLA with proper election forms and potentially could be exhausting available FMLA leave at the same time, if the employee is eligible. Furloughing employees during a temporary crisis is usually more favorable than a layoff unless the employer does not believe the work will return. During the time I'm furloughed, will my contributions to my 401(k) or health savings account continue? Oregon employees laid off or furloughed will likely be entitled to unemployment benefits. Employees approve deductions for each pay period, and "because there’s not a paycheck, there wouldn't be a contribution,'' says Amber Clayton, knowledge center director for the Society for Human Resource Management. If my child's school or daycare center is closed and I can't go to work, can I get unemployment? So, for exempt employees facing reduced hours, employers may choose to schedule them “one week on, one week off,” as opposed to partial weeks. For any non-symptomatic employees denied work as a precaution, a penalty under this law would seem unlikely given the state of this crisis, and the speed of its development. Unless a willful agreement has been met by both parties, an employer’s policy or agreement determines whether earned, unused vacation is … Will I still be covered while on furlough? The furlough scheme (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) has been extended until 30 April 2021. Workers who are laid off are removed from a company's payroll, though they may be rehired at some point in the future. Employers with more than 25 employees must provide qualifying employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for their own, or a family member’s, serious medical condition. Employers with more than 25 employees must provide qualifying employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to … Rules 839-001-0460 It would be up to your company to spell out whether premium payments missed while you were not receiving a check would be deducted once you return to work, or if you would have to make that payment before you take off. Employers Must Not Retaliate Against Employees Who Need To Quarantine 12/22/2020; Oregon OSHA launches free online course addressing COVID-19 safety training 12/10/2020; Oregon OSHA lanza un curso gratuito en línea acerca de seguridad en el trabajo en cuanto a COVID-19 12/10/2020 "Employers can furlough their staff for less than this 3 month period, with the only restriction from the Government being that the furlough period must last at least a minimum of 3 weeks. "People should apply for benefits the day they become unemployed,'' Evermore says. Additional information about federal WARN duties can be found in this article, and at the link provided above. Other considerations include personal workspace safety, ergonomics, confidentiality of information, and communication expectations. "Every one of the 50 states has an online application system,’’ says Michele Evermore, senior researcher and policy analyst for the National Employment Law Project. OPSL can either be “accrued” at a rate of 30:1 (one hour of leave per 30 hours worked) or “front loaded” at the beginning of the year or a work anniversary. You also can call Oregon’s Unemployment Department at 503-947-1394. Rather, it will focus on issues specific to Oregon employers. Some states have amended their unemployment regulations to account for the COVID-19 outbreak (including neighboring Washington) and employers should follow applicable updates to become aware of potential changes. 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