BLOG from #ABKLaw Lawrence Spasojevich, Esq.: COVID-19 Post-Employment Checklist
As stated in our previous post, unemployment insurance filings skyrocketed last week to almost three (3) million new filings. The St. Louis District of the Federal Reserve estimates that the COVID-19 freeze could cost forty-seven million jobs and send the unemployment rate past thirty-two (32) percent; a figure that would be significantly higher than the highest unemployment rate of twenty five (25) percent seen during the Great Depression. In these uncertain times, employees who terminated off as a result of the COVID-19 virus should use the following checklist to guide them through the initial stages:
1.) Immediately file for Unemployment Insurance coverage
You can file for unemployment insurance coverage at this link: https://applications.labor.ny.gov/IndividualReg/. In general, you are entitled to receive unemployment benefits if you: 1.) did not voluntarily resign from your job or 2.) were not terminated for cause. If your termination was a result of COVID-19 reasons, then, most likely, you are entitled to receive unemployment benefits.
2.) Consider requesting a severance package after your termination.
Please consult our previous blog, Severance Agreements, https://aidalalaw.com/abklaw-blog-severance-agreements/, which outlines the benefits and potential draw-backs of severance negotiation.
3.) Refresh your Resume and Network in preparation for the lifting of the Shelter-at-Home Order.
The quarantine is a terrible necessity. During this time, however, it is heavily recommended that all documents that you believe will be requested by employers, resumes, writing samples, reference list, and cover letters are ready to be sent.
4.) Consult with an attorney regarding the terms and conditions of your prior employment.
It is incredibly important to consult with an attorney to “audit” the terms and conditions of your prior employment, including the reasons for your termination. General issues that arise in the workplace include:
1) Failure to pay overtime;
2) Failure to pay “spread of hour” pay if you are in the service industry;
3) Failure to provide equal pay based upon sex and/or other protected characteristic;
4) Hostile work environments;
5) Terminated as a result of utilizing sick days, especially while experiencing COVID-19 symptoms; and
6) Failing to provide coverage under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Here at ABKLaw, we offer a free consultation to audit the terms and conditions of your prior employment.
5.) Most importantly, wash your hands and stay sheltered at home as much as possible.
The quickest way to overcome the current pandemic is to abide by the rules and restrictions mandated by the state and local government. Washing your hands, social distancing, and staying sheltered at home helps to “flatten the curve” and the faster we work together to curve-flatten, the faster we can get back to work.
Call our office to learn more, or if you have a particular legal matter that requires immediate attention: 212-486-0011 or email us at Info@AidalaLaw.com.
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