Gov. Evers' Takes Action to Support Unemployed Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- March 17, Gov. Evers urges the Wisconsin legislature to repeal the one-week waiting period for workers to collect unemployment.
- March 18, Governor Evers issues an executive order modifying the work and work search requirements for those facing unemployment in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Wisconsin AFL-CIO applauds this swift, bold action for workers from our Governor. These actions around unemployment insurance will make a difference for working families who are suddenly and unexpectedly facing job loss due to COVID-19.
Emergency Order #7 waives the requirement that unemployment insurance claimants must perform work search actions which could put them at risk to contract the virus. This section of the order is retroactively effective to March 12, 2020. You can view the order here.
Working families need bold support from our leaders as we together face economic insecurity and health and safety danger amid the coronavirus public health emergency. We can start today by building on Gov. Evers’ Emergency Executive Order #7 on unemployment insurance.
Join us in calling on the Wisconsin Legislature to come together immediately to repeal the one-week unemployment benefit waiting period. Contact your legislators and urge them to repeal the waiting period for unemployment now.
“Gov. Evers is leading during this unprecedented time of uncertainty for working people in Wisconsin and across the United States,” said Wisconsin AFL-CIO President Stephanie Bloomingdale. “This is why elections matter. This is why Wisconsin voters elected Governor Tony Evers. Governor Evers inherently understands that it is paramount to prioritize the needs of working families when making policy decisions as is clearly evident today in the COVID-19 coronavirus public health emergency.”
On March 12, the Wisconsin AFL-CIO released a statement on COVID-19 and Wisconsin workers, which can be found here. The Wisconsin AFL-CIO has called on officials from relevant agencies to enact the following commonsense policy responses to this emergency:
- Establish a minimum 14-day sick day bank for every worker impacted by the pandemic.
- No worker should be punished or ‘dinged’ for calling in sick.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) must issue an emergency temporary standard to ensure the immediate protection of workers in health care workplaces and other high-risk workplaces identified by the Centers for Disease Control.
- Those who are affected by the virus while receiving unemployment benefits should be exempt from the 1-week waiting period and the requirement to search for work.
- Ensure that working people understand that if they are injured or infected as a result of their work, they are entitled to worker’s compensation benefits.
- All people should have access to free COVID-19 testing and no person should have to incur any cost whatsoever, whether in the form of copays, deductibles, or out-of-pocket costs, related to treatment for COVID-19. Costs should not be a barrier to testing and treatment.
- Personal Protective Equipment should be readily available for anyone tasked with treating potentially infected populations.
- Coronavirus related time off should not count against a worker’s Family and Medical Leave Act benefits.
The Wisconsin AFL-CIO