Employees who choose not to return to work once businesses reopen can lose their unemployment benefits, according to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
They say federal guidelines require workers who have temporarily been laid off during the pandemic to return to their jobs once they’re available. Refusing to work can disqualify people from receiving unemployment benefits, even if employees fear working puts their health at risk.
But there are a few exceptions. Those include people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, are waiting for test results, or have a sick family member. Workers who have to care for children that can’t go to school may also continue receiving unemployment assistance.
The department says employers can notify the department through the state’s website if an employee refuses to return to work.