Governor Cooper is issuing an Executive Order today, ordering that starting at 5:00 pm today, bars and restaurants may only provide take-out and delivery, but no in-restaurant dining as an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. The Order also provides some current modifications to state unemployment procedures and eligibility. Specifically, the Order makes the following 5 changes:
- Removes the one-week waiting period to apply for unemployment;
- Removes the requirement that the individual look for another job during this time when so many employers are closed, and in recognition of the fact that many employers will want to re-hire the employees that they had to lay off;
- Allows employees who lose jobs, or in certain cases have their hours reduced, to apply for unemployment;
- Permits applicants for unemployment to apply remotely by phone or online, rather than requiring in-person interview;
- Directs that employers will not be held responsible for unemployment benefits that are paid as a direct result of COVID-19 claims; those benefits won’t be charged to the employer’s account.
Even though part of the Executive Order is directed to bars and restaurants, the unemployment modifications will apply to all employers and employees who have to lay people off as a direct result of COVID-19.
Questions about what this means for your business? Attorney Charlot Wood can be reached at CWood@belldavispitt.com or 336-714-4149.