Mandatory Filing by Employers for Partial Claims During Temporary Shutdowns
With the COVID-19 crisis leading to numerous layoffs and business shutdowns across Georgia, the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) has adopted Emergency Rule 300-2-4-0.5. As your trusted advisor, we want to make sure you’re aware of what your responsibilities are as an employer.
The emergency rule affects unemployment claims, filing by employers for partial claims and re-employment services.
Emergency Rule 300-2-4-0.5 went into effect March 16, 2020. Under this rule, the GDOL states that Georgia employers should file partial claims online. Furthermore, the rule states that “An employer shall file partial claims with respect to any week during which an employee works less than full-time due to a partial or total company shutdown caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency.”
Since the GDOL is temporarily suspending the in-person services typically required by the agency, both employers and employees should go online to file claims. Employers can download the How Employers File Partial Claims Desk-Aid found on the GDOL Alert Page and follow the instructions. (If a claimant doesn’t have access to the internet, the GDOL is accepting claims by phone — but warns that hold times will likely be lengthy.)
Additional information about the rule can be found here.
There are two key benefits to complying with Emergency Rule 300-2-4-0.5.
Employees can receive benefits payments quicker. According to the GDOL, “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 or register for employment services.”
You can avoid costly penalties. The GDOL says that any employer found to be in violation of this rule will be required to reimburse GDOL for the full amount of unemployment insurance benefits paid to the employee.
For updates to these guidelines, feel free to monitor the GDOL website at gdol.ga.gov. We will continue to do so as well and keep you posted about any changes. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mary Smith at email@example.com or call 678.205.5278, x125.