SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -The Tourism Leadership Council and Georgia Department of Labor is providing local businesses with some guidance regarding temporary layoffs in the wake of the coronavirus.
Employers can make the decision between a temporary layoff and a permanent layoff. The Georgia Department of Labor is now temporarily suspending in-person requirements for services provided by the agency. Employers are still required to file partial claims on behalf of employees, to give them unemployment benefits.
Employers can do this for workers who are temporarily laid off due to lack of work. This usually takes about 48 hours and can be done online.
You can read the entire news release from the Tourism Leadership Council below:
I am aware that many of you are making the difficult decision to make temporary layoffs. We are fortunate to have a close relationship with Georgia‘s labor Commissioner, Mark Butler. I reached out to him last night and he was able to provide me with the information below. As many of you know, there is a distinct difference between a temporary layoff and a permanent layoff.The information below pertains to temporary layoffs. Please carefully read the information below. Of course, making decisions as to a temporary layoff versus a permanent layoff is a decision that should be made in consultation with your human resources professionals, as well as human resources attorneys.In addition, many of you have inquired as to whether Georgia will waive the “14-day waiting period” for unemployment benefits as some other states have. Please be advised that Georgia does not now, nor has it ever, had a waiting period for unemployment benefits. Approved unemployment claims are payable as soon as processed. To repeat, there is no 14-day waiting period in Georgia for unemployment claims.For tourism, Michael T. Owens
In response to the recent development of COVID-19 and to protect the health and safety of the public and our staff, the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) is temporarily suspending in-person requirements for services provided by the agency. Employers are required to file partial claims on behalf of their employees whenever it is necessary to temporarily reduce work hours or there is no work available for a short period. Any employer found to be in violation will be required to reimburse GDOL for the full amount of benefits paid to each employee.
Filing partial claims results in your employees receiving unemployment insurance (UI) benefit payments faster, usually within 48 hours for claims filed electronically. Employees for whom you file a partial claim are NOT required to report to a Georgia Department of Labor career center, register for employment services, or look for other work.
You may submit partial claims for workers who are temporarily laid off due to a lack of work.
Do NOT submit claims for employees who:
- will be paid for the temporary layoff period, e.g., paid salary, paid sick leave, paid vacation or annual leave
- are/were on scheduled leave prior to the layoff period, e.g., a leave of absence or medical leave
- employed by a temporary agency and are currently working at your place of business
- were employed in another state in the last 18 months. (Workers should be directed to Apply for Unemployment Benefits online)
- were employed with the federal government or on active military service in the last 18 months. (Workers should be directed to Apply for Unemployment Benefits online)
Please continue to monitor our website at www.gdol.ga.gov for any updates to these guidelines.
How to File Online
You must be a registered user on the Employer Portal with administrator or user privileges permitting you to submit partial claims. If you are already a registered user, but are not currently permitted to file partial claims, contact your Employer Portal administrator for assistance. If your company is not registered on the Employer Portal, you must first establish an Employer Portal administrator account. Download the Administrator Guideon the Employer Portal login page and follow the step-by-step instructions.
Follow these steps to file partial claims on the Employer Portal:
- Log into the Employer Portal.
- Select the employer account number under Registered Account.
- Select the File Partial Claims link under Common Links.
- Follow the on-screen instructions.
When You File
- You must file a partial claim for each pay period. A week of partial unemployment consists of an employer’s established pay period week. Once a pay period is established, it should remain the same.
- Accurately report the employee’s name, social security number (SSN), and date of birth. They must match the Social Security Administration’s records.
- There must be seven (7) days between payment week ending dates.
- Do NOT submit claims until after the week ending date on the claim. The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) cannot accept claims filed prior to the week ending date on the claim.
- Report any vacation pay, holiday pay, and/or earnings during the week in which it was earned, NOT during the week it was paid to the employee.
- Report any additional income employees are receiving to the GDOL, except Social Security benefits, jury duty income, and pay for weekend military reserve duty.
Advise Your Employees
- They have two options of receiving their UI benefits: direct deposit or the Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard®.
- Employees choosing direct deposit must enter their direct deposit information on the GDOL website by selecting UI Benefit Payments Method under Online Services…Individuals.
- They can have elect to have state and/or federal taxes withheld by GDOL.
- Unemployment benefits are paid on a weekly basis. All weekly earnings over $50.00 are deducted dollar for dollar from the benefit payment.