September 21, 2020
Many workers are concerned about going back to work or taking a job. They do not feel safe because of COVID-19. They are asking if they can continue to get unemployment benefits if they believe the workplace is unsafe.Read More
September 15, 2020
What if my employer asks me to return to work, but I am unable to do so due to concerns related to COVID-19?
In general, you cannot receive unemployment benefits if you refuse an offer to return to work. But you may still be eligible for benefits if there was “good cause” for your refusal, a determination that is made on a case-by-case basis. If you or your employer notifies the Department of Labor of your refusal, there…Read More
September 14, 2020
What if I am offered a job, but I cannot start the job due to concerns about exposure to COVID-19 or because I need to care for a child or other family member?
In general, you are no longer eligible for unemployment if you refuse a “suitable” job offer. However, you can still be eligible for unemployment if you show that the job was not “suitable” or if you show that you had “good cause” for refusing a “suitable” job. The Department of Labor has said that it…Read More
April 30, 2020
Can my employer terminate me or discipline me for refusing to work in an environment in which there is a high risk of exposure to coronavirus, if I report a risk of exposure, or if I advocate for changes to make my workplace safer?
Under the Maine Whistleblowers’ Protection Act (MWPA), your employer cannot discriminate against you for your good faith report of what you have “reasonable cause to believe is a condition or practice that would put at risk the health or safety of that employee or any other individual.” Therefore, a report you make about a risk…Read More
April 30, 2020
If you have a compromised immune system or another medical condition impacted by COVID-19 (including mental health conditions like anxiety disorders), your employer may be required to provide you with a reasonable accommodation like telecommuting or protective equipment, unless doing so would cause the employer an undue hardship. Common cold or seasonal flu symptoms are…Read More