COVID-19 & Minnesota Legislation

By June 26, 2020June 30th, 2020COVID-19

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced that they will implement new legislation, which will update what constitutes suitable employment for job seekers, temporarily suspend the waiting period for those filing for benefits, elaborate on computations of future tax rates, and expand on separations for leave of absence due to COVID-19.

Suitable Employment:

For individuals filing for benefits between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 – employment is not suitable if the employment puts the health and safety of the individual at risk of exposure to COVID-19 or if the employment puts the health and safety of other associates and the public at risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Temporary Suspension of Waiting Week:

Typically, applicants will have a one-week, nonpayable waiting period to receive unemployment benefits. The state waived this waiting period between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.

Computation of Future Tax Rates:

Benefits paid as a result of applicant not being able to work as a result of COVID-19 will not be used to compute future unemployment insurance tax rates. This section expires December 31, 2020.

Leave of Absence:

For individuals filing for benefits between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 – a leave of absence is an involuntary leave of absence and not disqualifying if a determination has been made by a health care professional that the presence of the applicant in the workplace could jeopardize the health of others, a quarantine or isolation order has been issued for the applicant, a recommendation has been issued by a heath care professional to self-isolate or self-quarantine due to the applicant being immunocompromised, an employer advises the applicant to not return to the place of business due to outbreak, or a notification from a school district, day care, or other child care was issued stating that classes are canceled or ordinary care is unavailable.


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 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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