Workers who are offered the opportunity to return to work and don’t qualify for an exemption under Executive Order 20-05 or state unemployment insurance law are no longer eligible to receive benefits.
State unemployment insurance law prevents the state from continuing to pay benefits to those who are no longer eligible.
We ask every applicant on a weekly basis whether they have refused an offer of suitable employment. If you refuse an offer to return to work and do not tell us about it, but we later find out about that refusal from your business, you may be held overpaid for unemployment benefits you have already received.
If you feel that your business is not abiding by CDC and MDH guidance or by a required COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, please contact Minnesota OSHA at 651-284-5050 or OSHA.Compliance@state.mn.us.
The Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) protects workers from discrimination on the basis of disability, race, national origin, age and other protected classes. Individuals with disabilities have the right to request "reasonable accommodations" from businesses that are subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act and/or the Minnesota Human Rights Act. If you have a disability that affects your risk for contracting COVID-19 or being harmed if you do contract the virus, you have the right to request a reasonable accommodation from your business. For example, workers with disabilities that put them at high-risk for complications related to COVID-19 may request telework or paid/sick/unpaid leave as a reasonable accommodation to reduce their chances of infection during a pandemic. Learn more about worker protections related to COVID-19.
The Minnesota Department of Human Rights is the state’s civil rights enforcement agency and enforces the MHRA. If you believe you have been discriminated against, contact the department at 651-539-1133, 800-657-3704 or email@example.com or complete a consultation inquiry form.
If your business is unable to provide a reasonable accommodation upon your request, you may be eligible for unemployment. Minnesota unemployment insurance law provides that an applicant is eligible for unemployment insurance benefits if the applicant quits employment because the applicant's serious illness or injury made it medically necessary that the applicant quit.
Workers who live with family members who are at greater risk if they contract COVID-19 are encouraged to ask for reasonable accommodations from their business that will allow them to continue working while maintaining the safety and health of their family member.
If your business is unable to provide a reasonable accommodation, you may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. Minnesota unemployment insurance law provides that an applicant is eligible for unemployment insurance benefits if the applicant quits employment in order to provide necessary care because of the illness, injury, or disability of an immediate family member of the applicant.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commissioner (EEOC) has advised that, generally, measuring a worker's body temperature is a medical examination. Because CDC and state and local health authorities have acknowledged community spread of COVID-19 and issued attendant precautions, businesses may measure workers' body temperature. However, businesses should be aware some people with COVID-19 do not have a fever. You can view additional guidance from EEOC.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued guidance stating that during a pandemic, ADA-covered businesses may ask workers if they are experiencing symptoms of the pandemic virus. For COVID-19, these include symptoms such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or sore throat. Businesses must maintain all information about worker illness as a confidential medical record in compliance with ADA. EEOC has also advised ADA does not interfere with the guidance outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that workers experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should leave the workplace. You can view additional guidance from EEOC.
A business may not take adverse action, such as terminating, laying off or other retaliatory action, against a worker for exercising their safety and health rights, including raising with the business safety and health concerns, refusing to work under conditions they reasonably believe are unsafe or unhealthy related to COVID 19, participating in union activities concerning work place safety and health issues, filing a safety and health complaint or participating in an OSHA investigation.
Any worker who believes that their workplace is not following their Plan or is not following CDC or Minnesota Department of Health guidelines is encouraged to attempt to resolve their concerns directly with the business. If the worker is not successful in that attempt, fears retaliation or has suffered retaliation by the business, the worker should contact Minnesota OSHA at 651-284-5050 or OSHA.Compliance@state.mn.us.
A Resource Guide for Workers in the Processing and Manufacturing Industries document is available. Also available in alternative languages.