The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating global effects on public health systems and the world has seen unprecedented control measures to stop the spread. In the State of Washington these measures include shutting down schools and many businesses.
The shutdown of businesses will, of course, have negative effects on the economy. Many small businesses will be forced to reduce employees’ hours, laying them off temporarily or laying them off permanently.
If you have had your hours reduced or have been laid off, then there are resources available to help. Washington State allows unemployment insurance for workers affected by this pandemic. To qualify you must have worked at least 680 hours in your base year and be laid off due to COVID-19 related issues, like the business reducing your hours or closing. The Washington State Employment Security Department has issued new temporary guidelines in light of this crisis, including waiving the one-week waiting period for claims and suspending work search requirements temporarily. Washington Employment Security interim emergency orders can be found here. If you are affected, you should file a claim immediately. Be truthful on your application to avoid delays or denials of your unemployment benefits.
The following resources may be helpful if you need assistance with the claims process.
- Unemployment Law Project (unemployment claims and hearing representation) at 888-441-9178
- Wage Claim Project (wage claim representation for low wage workers) at 206-340-1840
- Fair Work Center (labor and employment rights for low wage workers) at 844-485-1195
If your unemployment benefits are denied, then you have the right to appeal. If you have questions about your benefits or about how your employer how your employer has handled this crisis, please contact Cooney Law Offices today.