Getting Back to Work: COVID-19 FAQ

As the city moves into Phase One of reopening, many in the workforce are wondering what the new normal will look like as more businesses begin to re-open their doors. Whether you have been working from home, furloughed and waiting for the call to come back to work, or seeking new employment all together, chances are, things will look a bit different on the other side. While implementation of new safety and sanitation guidelines and requirements across businesses may vary, many questions among employees remain the same. In an effort to address these concerns and help navigate information overload, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers regarding getting back to work.


If the job that laid me off wants to hire me back, can I decline and still collect unemployment?

While the decision of whether or not you feel comfortable returning back to work is entirely your prerogative, if you decline to return to work, you could be disqualified fromcollecting unemployment insurance benefits.


What if my employer would like me to return to work but my hours have been cut?

If you return to work but your hours have been cut or significantly reduced, you should still be eligible to collect some unemployment benefits. You will be required to report your weekly gross wages to determine eligibility. You will not be eligible for benefits if your gross wages exceed your weekly benefit amount.


What if I cannot return to work because I no longer have childcare arrangements due to COVID-19?

You may be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance if you have a child or other person in the household for which you have primary caregiving responsibility who is unable to attend school or another facility that is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.


Will I be required to wear a mask while I am at work?

Workers must wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when in the presence of others. Similarly, businesses must require that all customers, clients, and visitors must wear face coverings while indoors or on the premises. *Specific to New Orleans


Is my employer allowed to take my temperature? Can I be sent home if I have a fever?

Given the risks associated with COVID-19, employers are encouraged and allowed to prescreen or survey employees before the start of a shift. This includes, but is not limited to, taking temperature and checking for respiratory symptoms.Workers that display signs of illness, such as cough or fever higher than 100.4F (or any symptom suggestive of COVID-19), should not report to work or be permitted to stay at work.


If I contract COVID-19, when am I allowed to return to work?

If you had COVID-19 symptoms and were directed to self-isolate, you may return to work if you have not had symptoms for at least 3 days and it has been at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared.


Helpful Links:

NOLA Ready City of New Orleans

Louisiana Workforce Commission

Louisiana Department of Health