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COVID-19 and Unemployment Compensation- Workplace Safety

Unemployment Compensation

Last updated on 05/21/2021 at 7:34 pm

I was laid off in 2020 because of COVID-19. I’ve been on unemployment since then. Now the company wants to hire me back at my old job, but they haven’t done anything to protect employees against coronavirus infection. Will the state cut off my unemployment benefits if I refuse to take the job?

So all someone has to do is say that they don’t feel safe doing the job?

I know the company has taken some steps, like requiring employees to wear masks. But I don’t think that’s enough. At my old job we had to work really close to each other. If we still have to do that, can I lose my unemployment if I’m not willing to work under those conditions?

I have some of the high risk factors that would make COVID-19 extremely dangerous for me. Does that make a difference?

I’ve been offered a job in a business that’s reopening. I don’t know what COVID-19 safety precautions the business has taken. What should I do?

Where can I find information about what the employer should do to make the workplace safe?

I have to take a public bus to get to the job I’m being offered. I’m worried about getting COVID-19 from other on the bus. Will I be able to get unemployment benefits if that’s the reason I don’t take the job?

For the time being I’m getting unemployment benefits higher than my previous wages. Can I keep unemployment if I turn down a job offer because it doesn’t pay as much as unemployment?

What if I’m offered a job that I’m just not qualified to do? Will I lose my unemployment if I turn it down?

Is workplace safety and coronavirus risk considered in deciding whether a job is “suitable?”

How will the unemployment agency know whether a job is Suitable or Not ?

My company has been paying me and keeping me on the payroll all through the shutdown. Now they want me to come back to work but I don’t think it’s safe. Can I get unemployment if I technically “quit”?

Would it help to get a statement from my doctor that I am in a “high risk of severe outcome” group, and explaining why the steps taken by the company (if any) are not adequate?

I’m still on the payroll. Now they want me to come back to work. My doctor says not to go back because the company hasn’t taken adequate protective steps. If I refuse to go back, is that what’s called a “medical quit”?

What if my doctor says I should not go back to work at any job, no matter what steps the employer has taken?

I’m on unemployment benefits now. If I turn down a job offer because I don’t think it’s safe, I know the company will report that to WorkForce West Virginia. Will I get the chance to give my side of the story before the agency decides whether I should lose my benefits?

What’s the short simple “take away” from all of this discussion?