UPDATE ON VOLUNTARY UNPAID LEAVE OF ABSENCE: FROM UIMN.ORG
In the unemployment office FAQs, they state:
My employee is taking a voluntary, unpaid leave of absence. Will the employee be eligible for unemployment benefits?
It depends on the situation. We are suggesting that workers who find themselves in this situation apply for unemployment benefits to find out if they are eligible.
Given that they are choosing not to work (unless they cannot work due to lack of daycare options for children with the schools closed), they would not be eligible for unemployment. You may need to take a look at their accrued sick and safe time though. The City's interpretation of the sick and safe time policy in relation to Corona is as follows:
An employee's accrued sick and safe time hours are legally protected for their use due to Coronavirus symptoms, testing or infection. Protection extends to the employee and the employee's care of a covered family member. Ordinance protection includes, but is not limited to:
See the MN unemployment website for details (https://www.uimn.org/applicants/needtoknow/news-updates/covid-19.jsp). Generally U/I is available for people who are unemployed through no fault of their own. The intent of the expansion of U/I due to COVID is specifically for cases where:
I have several employees who are not working due to their own decision. They don't want to work because they fear they will catch the virus, and I am not making them. Are they eligible for unemployment? Technically I have not laid them off.
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