COVID-19 and Employer Unemployment Compensation (UC)

Mar 20, 2020

PENNSYLVANIA EMPLOYERS

DCED's COVID-19 Business Resources & Governor Wolf's Order

Employees affected by a business closure, reduction in hours, or a medically or government directed quarantine or isolation should be encouraged to file for unemployment compensation (UC) benefits if no other compensation, such as paid leave, is available to them.

Employees should be aware that they cannot receive both UC benefits and paid leave, as it may result in an "overpayment" that requires them to return benefits.

FAQs​

  1. Can my employees file for UC benefits if my business is closed (temporarily or otherwise) because of COVID-19?
  2. Can my employees file for UC benefits if I tell them to stay home because I think they are a risk of spreading or at risk of contracting COVID-19?
  3. Can my employees file a claim if they have COVID-19 and cannot come to work?
  4. Can my employees file for UC benefits if I reduce their hours because of COVID-19?
  5. Can my employees file for UC benefits if they are told to isolate or quarantine?
  6. Are there any programs to support employers experiencing financial difficulties or business downturn due to COVID-19? (Shared-Work?)
  7. If I am a small business owner, am I eligible for unemployment benefits if I need to close or temporarily shut down my business because of COVID-19?
  8. Will my UC tax rate increase if my employees file for benefits?

1. Can my employees file for UC benefits if my business is closed (temporarily or otherwise) because of COVID-19?

Yes, if your employees are temporarily laid off due to a business downturn or closure as a result of COVID-19, they may be eligible for UC benefits.

If you are experiencing a business downturn, you can use L&I's Shared-Work program to avoid employee lay-offs. Additional resources for businesses are available through the PA Department of Community and Economic Development .

2. Can my employees file for UC benefits if I tell them to stay home because I think they are a risk of spreading or at risk of contracting COVID-19?

Your employees should first use paid sick leave or paid time off; however, if they are not receiving paid time off, they may be eligible for UC benefits.

3. Can my employees file a claim if they have COVID-19 and cannot come to work?

Your employees should first use paid sick leave or paid time off. However, if they are not receiving paid time off, they may be eligible for UC benefits.

4. Can my employees file for UC benefits if I reduce their hours because of COVID-19?

Yes.

5. Can my employees file for UC benefits if they are told to isolate or quarantine?

Your employees should first use paid sick leave or paid time off. However, if they are not receiving paid time off, they may be eligible for UC benefits.

6. Are there any programs to support employers experiencing financial difficulties or business downturn due to COVID-19? (Shared-Work?)

The Shared-Work program can help keep employees attached to your workplace. Additional resources for businesses are available through the PA Department of Community and Economic Development .

7. If I am a small business owner, am I eligible for unemployment benefits if I need to close or temporarily shut down my business because of COVID-19?

No. However, you may qualify for a small business loan through the PA Department of Community and Economic Development , or for other programs available through the Small Business Administration Opens In A New Window .

8. Will my UC tax rate increase if my employees file for benefits?

No, businesses who are temporarily closed due to COVID-19 will be granted Relief From Charges, and your tax rate will not be increased because of COVID-19-related claims.

Click here to visit the PA Office of Unemployment Compensation website for the full information.