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To meet the increased number of Americans applying for unemployment insurance, the Department of Labor issued guidance to help states implement expanded unemployment benefits under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).  The announcement covered two initiatives, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC).  The PUA program makes benefits available for self-employed workers, independent contractors, gig workers, and others who do not regularly qualify for unemployment insurance.  FPUC outlines how states will administer an additional $600 weekly payment to eligible individuals.

The PUA provides up to 39 weeks of benefits to qualifying individuals unable to work due to COVID-19 related reasons, as defined in the CARES Act.  Benefit payments are retroactive to January 27, 2020.

The FPUC program allows state to provide an additional $600 per week benefit to individuals who are collecting regular unemployment compensation.  FPUC benefit payments are fully federally funded. The CARES Act specifies that FPUC benefit payments will end after payments for the last week of unemployment before July 31, 2020.

In addition to this information, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has produced three videos providing safety tips on the right tools to clean workplaces, interim guidance on respirator options during the COVID-19 pandemic and guidance on respirator fit testing.

More information about these programs and other developments are available by clicking on the links or you can contact one of our Employment Team members, Joseph F. Spitzzeri, Genevieve M. LeFevour, Christopher J. Carlos or Brian C. Langs.

Also, check out The Docket, a compilation of developments about the courts in Illinois and Indiana, initiatives aimed at helping business and the economy, and general news of interest to our clients and friends of the firm.