Refusal to work could put unemployment benefits at risk

JACKSON, Tenn. — As the state slowly reopens, many people are going back to work.

However, some workers don’t feel comfortable going back just yet.

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According to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, workers laid off temporarily due to the pandemic who don’t qualify for other unemployment assistance, who can work must return to work.

The CARES Act provides provisions for individuals who don’t usually qualify for state unemployment.

However, apprehensiveness to return to work due to health concerns isn’t a provision.

“If an employer who has put an employee on temporary layoff calls them back and they are able and available to work, under U.S. DOL guidelines, that person needs to return to work or their eligibility for unemployment benefits could be in jeopardy,” said Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Assistant Administrator for Communications Chris Cannon.

For more information on unemployment and other COVID-19 resources, visit the department’s website.

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