DES announces that it is ready to accept claims for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

The North Carolina Division of Employment Security (DES) announced that individuals can apply for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance beginning on April 24, 2020. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is a federal unemployment insurance program for people who are unable to work as a result of COVID-19 and not eligible for state unemployment benefits. For example, PUA

Immigrant worker’s rights during the COVID-19 pandemic

The National Employment Law Project recently published a document answering frequently asked questions (FAQ) from immigrant workers and their advocates regarding COVID-19-related issues.  Among other things, the FAQ emphasizes that all workers, regardless of immigration status, have the right to engage in protected concerted activity for mutual aid or protection regarding terms and conditions of employment. 

Governor Cooper issues Executive Order 134 providing furloughed employees increased access to unemployment benefits

On April 20, 2020, Governor Cooper issued Executive Order 134 “Allowing Businesses Flexibility to Make Payments That Assist Their Employees During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”  The Order allows employers to temporarily furlough employees and provide “COVID-19 Support Payments” without interfering with those employees’ eligibility for unemployment benefits.  An employer’s COVID-19 Support Payment Plan must meet certain