Employee COVID-19 FAQ
- posted: Apr 20, 2020
Our COVID-19 FAQ
Here are some general responses to the most common questions we have gotten from employees regarding employment and COVID-19. Please note, that each situation is different. Please call us at 704-643-6650 for advice specific to your situation.
1. My employer closed. Do they have to pay me the paid sick leave?
No. Employers are only obligated to pay sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act if there is work available but some individual employees cannot perform their work.
2. My employer furloughed me because of COVID-19 but I still haven’t received unemployment benefits. When will I get them?
Governor Cooper has made it clear that North Carolina is aware of the delays in receiving unemployment benefits. They are hiring more staff and working to streamline the process as much as possible. That said, no one knows when each person’s claim will be accepted. Sometimes checking the online portal at off hours (i.e. in the middle of the night) has been more successful than checking on a claims status during day time hours.
3. When will I see the extra $600.00 from the Federal Government in my unemployment benefit?
Currently the North Carolina Division of Employment Security estimates it will begin paying the federal benefit to qualified individuals on April 17.
4. Are my unemployment benefits subject to incomes taxes?
Yes. You will need to report unemployment benefits as income on your tax return.
5. How long do unemployment benefits last? How much will I get?
In North Carolina, the maximum amount of unemployment benefits is $350.00 a week. North Carolina benefits depend on wages earned in your employment prior to being laid-off. You can receive up to 12 weeks of North Carolina unemployment benefits. The extra $600.00 in federal weekly benefits is not based on wages earned. Each person who qualifies for unemployment will receive the extra $600.00 a week. The federal benefits are to last for four months.
6. I work for an essential employer but want to stay home because I am scared of contracting COVID-19. Can I quit and get unemployment benefits?
People who choose to quit their jobs are not entitled to unemployment benefits outside of a few exceptions which would not apply here. You can always ask your employer for different personal protective equipment or ask what their mitigation policy is.
If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.