Unemployment Insurance

As Texas begins to reopen, some employers are recalling employees placed on furloughs or leaves of absences due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Labor recently issued guidance to clarify that an individual who is able and available to work, but refuses to take a job offer or return from a furlough, absent one of the COVID-19-related criteria, will not be eligible for the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefit under the CARES Act. On April 30, 2020, the Texas Workforce Commission issued guidance stating that, depending upon the reason for refusal, these employees may remain eligible for receipt of state unemployment benefits. 
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In yet another employee misclassification case, Kentucky Attorney General, Jack Conway, brought suit against FedEx Corp. alleging that FedEx violates Kentucky state law by misclassifying its drivers as independent contractors.  The Complaint contends that FedEx violated state law in regards to unemployment insurance, workers compensation, payroll taxes, and the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act.  The lawsuit asks the Court to order FedEx to classify its drivers as employees and to pay the contributions and penalties required by state law, which includes back pay dating to 2000 and totaling at least $10 million.


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