The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment created a fact sheet for individuals on returning to work and collecting unemployment benefits. The state notes that individuals’ claims will be audited if they receive unemployment benefits, their employers reopen for business, and they subsequently refuse to return to work. Individuals will be subject to overpayments and/or fraud reviews if the state determines that they did not have a valid cause for refusing to return to work.
Individuals may be eligible for benefits after a work refusal due to the following situations:
- If you are a vulnerable individual and your work requires in person work near others
- If you care for a dependent who is a vulnerable person
- If you are not able to work remotely and you have childcare issues
- If the conditions at the work environment clearly do not conform to the ‘Safer at Home’ guidance and pose a health concern
Individuals might not be eligible for benefits after a work refusal due to the following situations:
- You are not able to demonstrate exemptions under the ‘Safer at Home‘ guidance mentioned above
- You are not able to work remotely but your employer provides you with the means to do so
- If you simply express unfounded and non-specific fear of exposure to COVID-19 with no connection to the work environment
Also, the state advises that individuals may be eligible to collect partial benefits if they are working under 32 hours perp week and earned less than the weekly benefit amount, which will not include the additional $600 payment from Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). Individuals must report hours worked and gross earnigns weekly when they file for benefits. All individuals must track all of their hours and earnings for each week, report gross earnings as it occurs, and report when they stop working for an employer.
Please visit http://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdle/working-collecting for more information. This webpage will provide a fact sheet about reporting hours, as well as examples on how to track and report hours and earnings.
Our office will monitor COVID-19 updates closely and will send out additional announcements as we become aware of any updates. You can also review these updates on our website at https://www.thomas-and-company.com/covid-19/ too.
Please reach out to your representative with any questions.