Alerts

Georgia Department of Labor Sets New Requirements for Mandatory Filing by Employers for Partial UI Claims

Alerts / March 23, 2020

In response to the rapid spread of COVID-19, the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced on Tuesday, March 17, that employers are now required to file partial unemployment insurance (UI) claims on behalf of their employees whenever it is necessary to temporarily reduce work hours or there is no work available for a short period of time. Any employer found to be in violation of this rule will be required to reimburse GDOL for the full amount of UI benefits paid to the employees.

Filing partial claims results in employees receiving UI benefit payments faster, usually within 48 hours for claims filed electronically. Employees for whom employers file a partial claim are not required to report to a GDOL career center, register for employment services or look for other work.

Eligibility

Employers should submit partial claims for full and part-time employees who are temporarily laid off or whose hours have been temporarily reduced because of a lack of work due to COVID-19. Employees must be expected to return to work when the COVID-19 emergency ends. Employees must also be U.S. citizens or non-citizens who are authorized to work in the U.S. Exempt from the requirement are employees who:

  • are on scheduled/customary vacation, a scheduled/customary plant shut down, or a scheduled/customary plan closure;
  • are employed by a temporary agency and are currently working at your place of business;
  • were employed in another state in the last 18 months;
  • were employed with the federal government or on active military service in the last 18 months;
  • are 1099 workers;
  • are voluntarily out of work (e.g., quits, requested leaves of absence, self-quarantined, etc.);
  • have been permanently separated from your company.
When to file

Employers must:

  • File a partial claim for each pay period. A week of partial unemployment consists of an employer’s established pay-period week. Once a pay period is established, it should remain the same.
  • Accurately report the employee’s name, Social Security number and date of birth. They must match the Social Security Administration’s records.
  • Show seven days between payment week-ending dates.
  • Report any vacation pay, holiday pay and/or earnings during the week in which it was earned, not during the week it was paid to the employee.
  • Report to the GDOL any additional income employees are receiving, except Social Security benefits, jury duty income and pay for weekend military reserve duty.
Advise your employees

Employees have two options for receiving their UI benefits: direct deposit or the Georgia UI Way2Go Debit MasterCard.

Employees choosing direct deposit must enter their direct deposit information on the GDOL website by selecting “UI Benefit Payments Method” under the “Online Services ... Individuals” heading.

They can elect to have state and/or federal taxes withheld by the GDOL.

UI benefits are paid on a weekly basis. All weekly earnings over $50 are deducted dollar for dollar from the benefit payment.

More information can be found here.

Authorship Credit: Eric Barnum

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