During the COVID-19 State of Emergency, it is important that employers remember to fulfill the legal requirement to give advance notice to workers when considering a reduction in hours, layoff or furlough. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act Section Division D: Emergency Unemployment Insurance Stabilization Act, Public Law (Pub. L) 116-127 and the Unemployment Insurance Program Letter 13-20 both outline the model language that employers should use when notifying workers about separation and availability of unemployment benefits.
The following example is guidance on how the employer should transmit information to the individual(s) affected by downsizing, according to a press release from the V.I. Department of Labor.
Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits are available to workers who are unemployed and who meet the requirements of state UI eligibility laws. You may file a UI claim in the first week that employment stops or work hours are reduced.
For assistance or more information about filing a UI claim, call St. Croix District at 713- 3424 or contact the St. Thomas District at 715-5724 or visit www.vidol.gov to reach the V.I. Department of Labor and file an application for Unemployment Benefits.
You will need to provide the state UI agency with the following information in order for the state to process your claim: Your full legal name; 2. Your Social Security Number; and 3. Your authorization to work (if you are not a U.S. citizen or resident.)
To file a UI claim by phone, call St. Croix District at 713- 3424 or call the St. Thomas District at 715-5724.
Unemployment Insurance Reminders:
Any employer that needs to reduce hours, furlough, layoff or reduced staff hours, the Virgin Islands Department of Labor is requesting that employers do the following:
- Send a letter to the Unemployment Insurance Division that includes the names of the affected employees in advance of the reduction of hours to 20 a week, discharge or layoff.
- You must also contact the Department of Labor directly at the following numbers to gain information on services that can be provided for affected individuals:
- St. Thomas: 776-3700 at extensions 2094 or 2035
- St. Croix: 773-1994 at extensions 2152 or 2154