Gephardt: Workers Who Quit Over Coronavirus Fears Might Qualify For Unemployment

May 1, 2020, 12:45 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Some employees who are being called back to work are nervous it could expose them to the coronavirus.

Losing your job isn’t black and white. How and why an employee leaves can make a big difference. For example, if an employee had a good reason for quitting, they get unemployment.

Is being scared of catching the coronavirus a good reason? Maybe, said Utah Unemployment Division Director Kevin Burt.

Broadly speaking, if your boss is following all of the health guidelines to be open, you’re be expected to show up. If you don’t, don’t expect unemployment benefits.

“Just a general fear … it could disrupt the unemployment benefit,” Burt said.

But there could be good, tangible reasons. Is your boss refusing to make people wear masks? Is social distancing impossible? Are you a high-risk individual?

“Perhaps you’re in a vulnerable population. Perhaps you have a family member that’s in the vulnerable population. And some of that should absolutely be evaluated,” Burt said.

Thus far, Utah’s Department Workforce Services has received 20 reports of employees refusing to go back to work over COVID-19 fears. It’s too early to say how many claims there will be as businesses reopen, but after a turbulent few months, Burt says he’s eager to see the overall claims go down.

“We’re moving towards returning to work and so that’s promising for us to see,” he said.

It’s really important that the employer communicate directly to their employees that they are reopening, Burt says. The state has had “sticky” issues in the past where bosses send out an email or leave a voicemail and the employee didn’t get the message.

KSL 5 TV Live

KSL Investigates

Leah Moses...

Annie Knox

Utah lawmakers pass ‘Om’s Law,’ focused on child safety in custody decisions

Utah lawmakers gave final passage to bill requiring judges to consider evidence of domestic violence raised in child custody cases.

3 days ago

Matt Gephardt being shown the double payments that Terry Hutchings has been getting....

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Get Gephardt helps homeowner being charged two bills for one security system

Billing for a previous home initially stopped when she sold it, but when she got a new security system from the same provider for her new place a year later it started billing for both.

4 days ago

fences and buildings with an inmate walking on a snowy sidewalk...

Daniella Rivera

New Prison, New Problems: Inside the effort to staff Utah’s new $1 billion prison facility

Utah's new prison cost taxpayers more than a $ 1 billion, yet a scathing audit shows the new facility has been unsafe and still isn't being used as intended. After being granted unprecedented access, the KSL Investigators go inside the new prison for a look at what's being done to fix its new problems.

4 days ago

Neilson-Berg explaining the hassles and trouble she has been going through to get into contact with...

Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt helps Google Fiber customer get her internet fixed after customer service calls go nowhere

When a Salt Lake City woman's internet connection went down, and she couldn't get a straight answer as to when it would be back up, she decided to Get Gephardt.

5 days ago

dome and side of the Utah Capitol...

Daniella Rivera and Annie Knox, KSL TV

Truth Test: Fact-checking claims from lawmakers who voted to make their calendars secret

The KSL Investigators put lawmakers’ statements about a measure that would conceal their calendars through the KSL Truth Test.

5 days ago

Sean Reyes...

Keira Fairmont

Fight for Transparency: KSL’s 15-month long battle to get Sean Reyes’ calendar

Utah’s Attorney General Sean Reyes still refuses to release his professional calendar despite State Records Committee and Judge’s orders. Now Utah Lawmakers have passed a bill to seal all public officials’ calendars.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Gephardt: Workers Who Quit Over Coronavirus Fears Might Qualify For Unemployment