Temporary and permanent layoff and termination decisions are a difficult reality for many in the business community now. State agencies and the federal government are adjusting employment laws in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. If layoffs and terminations are your next moves, be sure to consider new laws that might affect those decisions.
Employers Allowed to File Unemployment Claims
The SC Department of Employment and Workforce is allowing employers who have to temporarily lay off workers to file claims for unemployment insurance benefits on their workers’ behalves, for up to six weeks. Doing this serves two purposes: (1) it exempts your employees from SCDEW’s typical work search requirement during the six weeks; and (2) your workers will be ready to get right back to work once you reopen for business. The claim must be submitted after the week of layoff is over, but within 14 days of the claim week ending date. Applications are available on SCDEW’s website.
New Federal Leave Laws In Effect
The “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (FFCRA”) went into effect April 1, 2020, and effects many employees’ rights to leave. At bottom, the FFCRA requires covered employers to grant two weeks of paid sick leave to qualifying employees, and potentially an additional ten weeks of paid leave (the first ten days of which is unpaid) for employees caring for minor children whose schools or childcare facilities/ caregivers are closed or unavailable due to COVID-19. Whether your business qualifies as a “covered employer,” and whether specific employees qualify for the Act’s relief are fact-specific. As such, you should consult with an employment attorney about how the FFCRA may be implicated in your termination/ lay-off decisions.
We’re happy to help ease your burden during this difficult time. If you have questions about how these new laws may affect your business and your decisions about employees, please contact Attorney Casey Martens at firstname.lastname@example.org.