COVID-19 & Florida Mass Filings

By June 28, 2020June 30th, 2020COVID-19

Florida enacted emergency rule, 73BER20-1. With ‘employer assisted claims,’ employers may notify the state of a mass separation and file on behalf of associates. A ‘mass separation’ means the full, partial, permanent, or temporary separation of 1,000 or more full-time associates from the same employing unit, at or around the same time, due to COVID-19. Any employer who commences a mass separation because of COVID-19 may initiate an employer assisted claim by submitting, including but not limited to, the below information for all associates impacted by the mass separation:

  1. The reason for filing because of COVID-19
  2. First and last name (and other last names) they have worked under in the last 18 months
  3. Social Security Number (SSN) (and other SSNs) they have worked under in the last 18 months
  4. Gender
  5. Mailing Address (includes street address, city, state, zip code, county, and country)
  6. Date of Birth
  7. Citizenship status
  8. Job title
  9. Type of employment
  10. Employment start date
  11. Employment end date
  12. Reason for separation
  13. Severance payments
  14. Earnings (Report gross wages—amount of pay before deductions— for any work they performed during the week for which you are filing AND earnings from other employment. Report any leave pay, vacation pay, holiday pay, and/or gross earnings during the week in which it was earned, not during the week it was paid to the employee. Income for Social Security benefits, jury duty income, and pay for weekend military reserve duty should not be reported as earnings)
  15. Alien registration information for non-citizens of the United States
  16. Employer name
  17. Employer Identification Number
  18. Employer’s legal address.

Employers must submit the above information through secure means as approved by the state due to the sensitivity of the information. Also, employers must submit an employer assisted claim within 10 days after the date of the mass separation. Associates covered by employer assisted claims must complete their application within 30 days after the filing was initiated by the employer.  The state may choose to waive the 30-day deadline if good cause for a late application is provided.

Employers can submit partial claims for associates who are temporarily laid off due to a lack of work too. However, do not submit claims for the following associates:

  • will be paid for the temporary layoff period, such as paid salary, paid sick leave, paid vacation or paid family leave
  • are/were on scheduled leave prior to the layoff period
  • employed by a temporary agency and are currently working at your place of business
  • were employed in another state in the last 18 months (should be directed to apply for benefits online)
  • were employed with the federal government or on active military service in the last 18 months (should be directed to apply for benefits online)

What to Advise Employees:

  • They have two options of receiving their benefits: direct deposit or prepaid debit card.
  • Associates choosing direct deposit must enter their direct deposit information into CONNECT.
  • They can elect to have taxes withheld by the Department.
  • Reemployment Assistance benefits are paid on a biweekly basis.
  • There must be seven days between payment week ending dates.
  • Report any vacation pay, holiday pay, and/or earnings during the week in which it was earned, NOT during the week it was paid to the associate.
  • Report any additional income employees are receiving to the Department, except Social Security benefits, jury duty income, and pay for weekend military reserve duty.
  • Reemployment Assistance benefits will stop when the employment resumes.

Employer Agreements and Requirements:

 I am an employer in the State of Florida.

 I am filing this claim on behalf of multiple associates.

 I understand this process was put in place by the Department as a temporary process in response to COVID-19, and this process will only last until the state resumes normal procedures for filing unemployment claims, but not more than 90 days from the effective date of emergency rule 73BER20-1.

 I understand that if I have any questions about eligibility, payments, or the unemployment program, I can go to floridajobs.org.

 

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 http://www.thomas-and-company.com/covid-19/ too.

Please reach out to your representative with any questions.

 

Mike Parker

Author Mike Parker

Mike has 30 years of experience in unemployment cost control management, and has been with Thomas & Company for 25 years. He is the primary contact with state agencies building strong relationships, lobbying for opportunities that increase quality of service and efficiencies, and insuring compliance with state specific requirements. He works with the client service team, answering technical questions related to the unemployment insurance programs administered by the individual states and oversees the processes associated with wage audits and fraudulent claim inquiries. Mike is a member of the SIDES Operations Committee and currently sits on four Operations Committee subcommittees.

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