The CARES Act, signed into law on March 27, contained a plethora of provisions. Perhaps one of the most controversial provisions was the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program which provided to all individuals receiving state unemployment compensation, an additional $600 per week. This stipend was funded entirely by the federal government and, in many cases, unemployed individuals were making as much or more than they were making when employed. Many employers cited how difficult it was to call employees back to work from layoff (although the State of Ohio did develop a process which allowed employer to report employees who tried to refuse recall) and how difficult it was to hire new employees to low and mid-level wage positions within their organizations.
At this point, that provision is still scheduled to sunset on July 31, 2020. That said, the House of Representatives passed an extension of the FPUC benefit in a piece of legislation passed in June. However, this provision, and the bill in which it is contained, has faced immense opposition in the Senate. There is ongoing vigorous debate as to whether to extend the program for several more months, allow the program to go away or extend the program with modifications which would eliminate some of the provisions which seem to de-incentivize a return to work.
We will provide an update if and when a final decision is made – or not made, as the case may be. If you have any questions about the CARES Act, PFPUC or any other issue effecting your workplace, please contact Attorney Michael J. Bogdan (firstname.lastname@example.org) or any other member of KWGD’s Labor and Employment Section.
NOTE: This general summary of the law should not be used to solve individual problems since slight changes in the fact situation may require a material variance in the applicable legal advice.