May 1, 2020 Less than a minute read

Unemployment and returning to work

As businesses begin to reopen after the conclusion of the Stay Home Missouri order on May 4, many employers have questions about calling staff members back to work who have been unemployed and collecting benefits.

This scenario has become problematic for some employers as federal legislation has provided for temporarily enhanced unemployment benefits. In some instances, workers may be paid more receiving unemployment benefits than what they were receiving when on the job. This has reportedly led to some employees being reluctant to return to work.

Below are some guidelines providing clarity to employees and employers about what is allowed under Missouri’s unemployment law.

Can an employee who has been receiving unemployment benefits refuse an offer to return to work and keep drawing unemployment benefits?

Under Missouri unemployment law, refusing to return to work without good cause to obtain additional funds under the regular unemployment program or the CARES Act qualifies as fraud.

Can an employee quit their job to begin receiving unemployment benefits?

Under Missouri unemployment law, most people who are currently employed and quit of their own volition do not qualify for unemployment.

Will employers’ unemployment taxes increase due to COVID-19?

Currently, employers are not being charged for unemployment claims related to COVID-19. The duration of this policy change will end at a date to be determined, but no later than the end of this year.

For more information and FAQs about unemployment and returning to work, please visit the Missouri Dept. of Labor’s coronavirus information page.

DISCLAIMER: The Missouri Chamber seeks to provide access to recommendations, regulations, services and expertise to its members.  Prior to acting, members should consult their own professional advisors for information and counsel specific to the individual and unique situations faced by organizations, individuals and corporations.  The opinions, interpretations and recommendations of the Missouri Chamber are informational only and should not be relied upon by the recipient as legal or professional advice.


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