COVID-19 is causing businesses across the country to start closing their doors. As of March 2020, there have been 30 million Americans to file an initial unemployment claim – nearly 20% of the entire American workforce. Employees are being laid off or are being put on furlough. Laid off employees are permanently separated from the employer, though retain the possibility of being called back to work. They are also no longer listed on the company’s payroll and lose all employer-provided benefits. Employees put on furlough, however, have a similar yet different story compared to those laid off. These employees are on temporary, mandatory, and unpaid leave and the length of this may depend on the situation. Furloughed employees remain on a company’s payroll but don’t receive paychecks but also they may hold on to some benefits that are provided by the employer.
In order to help those who have lost hours or lost their jobs, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the CARES Act was created. It makes a $2.2 trillion stimulus to help businesses and individuals stay afloat in the rough seas of COVID-19. Unemployment policies are now reaching farther beyond what is considered normal unemployment. If you have lost hours from your employers lowering your hours and you can work more or if you have multiple jobs and have been laid off or furloughed from one or more of them, you are still likely to qualify for unemployment benefits. Nontraditional workers, such as freelancers, gig-workers, and self-employed workers are all being helped by these policies. Workers who quit for reasons related to the pandemic and recent hires who were scheduled to begin work but weren’t able to do so are also being attached to these policies as well.
Learn more on how to survive a furlough or layoff during COVID-19 here: