Information for Employers & Businesses During COVID-19
The questions and answers below provide employers with information related to unemployment, benefits and protections for employees, and assistance for businesses. This webpage will be updated as our response to COVID-19 evolves, so please check back often.
Be sure to learn about health, safety, and vaccines at work during COVID-19 at nj.gov/labor/covidsafety.
Learn about benefits and protections available for working parents/guardians and caregivers here.
Yes. Employees would need to certify in their weekly unemployment benefit certification which weeks they are working and which weeks they are not. Their unemployment claim may require agent intervention.
While in most cases a claimant cannot refuse “suitable work” and collect benefits, where the work poses a high degree of risk to health and safety to the claimant, he or she can refuse to accept the “unsuitable work” and continue to collect benefits. These determinations are highly fact-specific and are determined on a case-by-case basis.
Learn more about health, safety, and vaccines at work during COVID-19 at nj.gov/labor/covidsafety.
Generally, individuals receiving regular unemployment compensation must act upon any referral to suitable employment and must accept any offer of suitable work. Barring unusual circumstances, a request that a furloughed employee return to his or her job very likely constitutes an offer of suitable employment that the employee must accept. See NJDOL’s guidance for more details.
With the unprecedented number of claims that have been filed, the notification to employers is lagging behind the actual payment of benefits. You can still file an appeal of the claim.
Regardless of the separating employer, Unemployment Insurance looks at the earnings from all employers normally during the first four of the most recently completed five calendar quarters to determine the employee’s monetary benefits. Each of the employers will be charged their pro rata share of the benefits based on their percentage of earnings.
The Shared Work Program, also sometimes referred to as workshare or Short-Term Compensation, is an alternative to layoffs. An employer who has at least 10 employees may apply to NJDOL for approval to provide a Shared Work program. The purpose of such a program is to stabilize an employer’s workforce during a period of economic disruption by permitting the sharing of the work remaining after a reduction in total hours of work. Under an approved Shared Work program, workers who have their hours of work reduced may receive “short-term” Unemployment benefits for the lost hours of work, while continuing to work at reduced hours with a continuation of their health insurance, pension coverage, and other benefits. Get more information here. We will soon have a secure online application available, and we have added additional staff so it should not take more than a few weeks, once the application is received, for the review and approval process.
Yes, the Department of Labor has many opportunities for job training. Visit nj.gov/labor for information on how to access training funds for on-the-job training.
Before reaching out directly to the State, we recommend that you review the answers on this site. Reading this information is likely to be the most efficient way for you to get answers and support.
If you have additional business-related coronavirus questions, you are welcome to call the New Jersey Business Action Center (8am–5pm ET) at 1-800-JERSEY-7 or visit business.nj.gov.
If you have a non-business coronavirus inquiry, please call the NJ Coronavirus & Poison Center Hotline at 1-800-222-1222 or visit nj.gov/health.
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has a portfolio of loan, financing, and technical assistance programs available to support small and medium-sized businesses. More information on existing products and programs can be found on the NJEDA website for small and midsize business and the services for those businesses.
Speaking with an NJEDA team member may be helpful in understanding what resources may be available to address your business needs. To reach an NJEDA team member, please call 609-858-6767 or share information about your business at contactus.njeda.com and a representative will contact you promptly.
The NJEDA understands that the coronavirus outbreak is causing disruptions for some businesses that have been approved for State economic development support, including loans, grants, and tax credits. Businesses are encouraged to appropriately respond to ensure the health and safety of their employees and customers.
In light of the declared New Jersey state of emergency, NJEDA is currently reviewing procedures and policies related to all NJEDA support programs.
As a first step, the NJEDA is waiving certain specific requirements related to employee presence in the office for the recipients of awards under the following employment-based incentive programs:
- Grow New Jersey Program (“Grow NJ”)
- Urban Transit Hub Program (“HUB”)
- Business Employment Incentive Program (“BEIP”)
- Business Retention and Relocation Assistance Grant Program (“BRRAG”)
For more information about this program waiver, read the press release.
Please continue to check this website in the coming days for additional program specific guidance.
In addition, if you would like to speak with a representative about your specific situation, please call your assigned Incentives Officer or 609-858-6767; or provide your information at contactus.njeda.com and a member of the NJEDA will contact you promptly.
For up-to-date information on what federal or Small Business Administration (SBA) financial assistance programs are available for businesses, visit: https://business.nj.gov/covid/federal-or-sba-financial-assistance-programs.