Legal Alert

Minnesota Gov. Walz Again Expands Unemployment Benefits to Unemployed Workers

April 9, 2020

On Monday, April 6, 2020, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed an executive order amending his previous order titled Providing Immediate Relief to Employers and Unemployed Workers. The previous order expanded eligibility for unemployment benefits, waived the waiting period for benefits, and provided temporary assistance for more than 300,000 Minnesotans affected by the economic impact of COVID-19.

However, Gov. Walz noted that there are 45,000 qualified workers with pending unemployment insurance applications who are unable to immediately access benefits because of administrative requirements.

For that reason, in the new Order, Gov. Walz specifically waived and suspended Minnesota Statutes Section 268.085(3), which before the amendment had made an applicant ineligible to receive unemployment benefits for any week the applicant is receiving, has received, or will receive vacation pay, sick pay, or personal time off pay (PTO). As a result, employees receiving paid time off from their employers also may apply for unemployment benefits.

Furthermore, the Order mandates that through December 31, 2020, employers notify separated employees that they can apply for unemployment insurance benefits.

The current order is effective immediately upon approval by the Executive Council and remains in effect until the peacetime emergency declared in Executive Order 20-01 is terminated or until it is rescinded by proper authority.

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This alert is a periodic publication of Ballard Spahr LLP and is intended to notify recipients of new developments in the law. It should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own attorney concerning your situation and specific legal questions you have.

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