As Minnesota businesses begin the process of reopening and safely returning people to work, we know there are a lot of questions. We’ve answered many of the most common questions at mn.gov/deed/safework, and I encourage businesses and workers alike to review customized guidance there.
We also know that businesses and workers may be wondering about the process for bringing workers back into the workplace, and that many workers may have concerns about returning to the workplace given the threat of COVID-19. On May 13, Governor Walz issued Executive Order 20-54 which provides more clarity on worker protections in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We hope that this post will address some additional questions about how unemployment insurance works in this context.
Here's what you need to know:
Most importantly, businesses must be safe and healthy for their workers and customers.
In order to reopen, any non-Critical Sector business or retail establishment must have a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in place to protect the health and safety of their workers.
Once a COVID-19 Preparedness plan is in place and workers are called back to work, anticipate that some may be nervous or worried about returning to the workplace. Be flexible and provide necessary accommodations for workers.
Some employees may not be able to return to work.
If a worker feels that their employer is not operating with a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan and/or not following health and safety protocols, there is action they can take.
State Unemployment Insurance law prevents the state from continuing to pay benefits to those who are no longer eligible.
If a worker or employer notifies the department that an offer to return to work was refused, we will review the applicant’s eligibility for unemployment. What happens next?
We know that both businesses and workers want to make the process of returning to work safe, effective, and fair. Thoughtful planning, clear communication, and a collaborative and generous spirit are going to get us through this difficult time.
We hope these guidelines make it clear how this process will work, and we encourage everyone to get more information in the FAQ section of UIMN.org.
- Commissioner Steve Grove
DEED Developments Blog
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