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As Businesses begin to reopen and resume regular hours of operation, they are reaching out to employees who have been furloughed or laid off due to COVID-19. However, employers are experiencing some difficulty bringing their staff back into the workplace, as some employees refuse to come back into the workplace due to concern for their health and risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Employees are not given the option to choose between continuing to receive unemployment benefits or an offer to return to work. Employees must return to work unless they have a good cause for not accepting a return to work offer. If they do not have good cause and still refuse the offer to return to work, they can no longer collect unemployment.   

Below are a few examples of employees refusing to work without good cause.

  • An employee refuses to come back to work without any reason for the refusal.
  • An employee confirms that they are making more money on unemployment than being paid by your company.

Below are a few examples of good causes as to why an employee could refuse to come back to work and still collect unemployment:

  • If the employer has significantly changed the employee’s job responsibilities or has cut their pay.
  • If the employer asks their employees to return to work at a worksite that does not follow Government or CDC guidelines.

Please contact your HR representative to learn more about how to report an employee who has refused a return to work offer without good cause.