Many employees in the service and event industry have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus and mandatory shutdowns put into place yesterday, March 17th.
NC Governor Roy Cooper has issued an executive order to provide relief by lifting some restrictions on unemployment benefits to help workers unemployed due and those who are employed but will not receive a paycheck.
This Order will directly aid workers who may have lost wages in restaurants and meeting places due to mass gathering restrictions.
It removes the one-week waiting period to apply for unemployment payment for those workers who lose their jobs;
It removes the requirement that a person must be actively looking for another job during this time when many potential employers are closed and social distancing guidelines are in effect.
It allows employees who lose their jobs or, in certain cases, have their hours reduced due to Covid-19 to apply for unemployment benefits.
It directs that employers will not be held responsible for benefits paid as a direct result of these COVID-19 claims.
It waives the requirement that people must apply for benefits in person; workers can apply for benefits online or by phone.
Is there good news? At the same time, this new order will lift some restrictions on unemployment benefits to help workers unemployed due to Covid-19 and those who are employed but will not receive a paycheck. Additionally, it adds benefit eligibility for those out of work because they have the virus or must care for someone who is sick.
It was not an easy decision to make for the Governor but, he feels it was the right thing to do to help slow down the spread of COVID-19. “During this time of uncertainty, I will keep working to protect the health and safety of North Carolinians and keep our state’s economy afloat,” said Governor Cooper.
The idea behind this executive order is designed to protect those workers who find themselves suddenly without a paycheck and to shut down any gathering spaces. To be more specific about the power of this new rule for unemployment benefits, those who find themselves still employed yet are NOT allowed to show up to work and are losing income in the form of tips - ARE ELIGIBLE to file for unemployment benefits.
For those who wish to view the new executive order at its entirety, please see here.