Pennsylvania Employers Must Now Notify Employees of Unemployment Availability
In response to the economic toll of the COIVD-19 pandemic, Pennsylvania has enacted new notification requirements in its unemployment compensation law. The law now requires every employer – whether or not the employer is liable for paying into the state’s unemployment system – to provide notification of the availability of unemployment compensation to an employee at the time of separation from employment. The notification must include at least the following:
- The availability of unemployment compensation benefits to workers who are unemployed and who meet the requirements of the unemployment compensation law;
- The ability of an employee to file an unemployment compensation claim in the first week that employment stops or work hours are reduced;
- The availability of assistance or information about an unemployment compensation claim on the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s website or by calling the Department’s toll-free number (888-313-7284); and
- The employee will need certain information in order to file a claim, including his or her full name, Social Security number, and if not a citizen or resident of the U.S., authorization to work in the United States.
Though not required, employers also may want to provide employees with a copy of the state’s unemployment checklist for claimants.
While this law was enacted in response to COVID-19, the notification requirement is permanent and continues to apply after the pandemic whenever an employee is separated from employment. The law also enacts temporary changes to unemployment eligibility that expire January 1, 2021: removing the one week waiting period, waiving the job search requirement during the emergency declaration, and providing relief to employers for unemployment charges related to COVID-19. Contact your Vorys lawyer if you have questions about unemployment compensation issues.
Vorys COVID-19 Task Force
Outside of this new law, employers continue to face myriad issues as COVID-19 continues to spread and impact communities and workplaces (some of these issues are addressed in our prior alerts located here). We will continue to keep you posted on any important developments. In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding this new law or any other aspect of COVID-19, please contact your Vorys lawyer.
We have also established a comprehensive Coronavirus Task Force, which includes attorneys with deep experience in the niche disciplines that we have been and expect to continue receiving questions regarding coronavirus. Learn more and see the latest updates from the task force at vorys.com/coronavirus.