Utah’s Department of Workforce Services (DWS) has expanded eligibility for unemployment benefits to cover many individuals who are temporarily unemployed or underemployed due to business interruption or quarantine measures taken in response to COVID-19.
DWS has published FAQs on its website for employers and employees at https://jobs.utah.gov/covid19/index.html. These FAQs suggest DWS will be generous in granting benefits to employees who have been affected by COVID-19, including those staying home to care for children whose schools or daycares have closed. However, eligibility assessments will be performed on an individual basis. Employees can apply for benefits at https://jobs.utah.gov/ui/home/.
For now, employers have not been granted relief from the impact of unemployment claims on their unemployment insurance tax rates or direct reimbursement obligations (for reimbursable employers). However, if the Families First Coronavirus Response Act passes the Senate and is signed by the President, DWS will receive emergency funds from the federal government that may be used to alleviate the financial burden on employers.
We will continue to monitor and provide updates as the state and federal response to COVID-19 unfolds. In the meantime, please feel free to contact Clyde Snow’s Employment Law Group Chairs Chris Snow or Shaunda McNeill at 801-322-2516 for immediate responses to COVID-19 questions.