Covid-19 FAQ for Workers

March 17, 2020

As we work to keep you up to date with developments about the coronavirus and the measures the state is putting in place to assist our residents, I want to share information from the State Department of Labor.

If you are a worker and find yourself unable to go to work, the following information will help answer most of the frequently asked questions.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns. We are all in this together.

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How do I apply for Unemployment Insurance benefits or get more information about the process and requirements?

  • Please go to www.filectui.com Do I need any paperwork from my employer before I can file for unemployment benefits?

  • Do not delay filing your claim for unemployment benefits even if your employer has not issued you any paperwork. It is important to file as soon as you become unemployed to avoid being denied benefits.

  • For faster processing of your claim, please have your employer’s registration number and a return to work date readily available when you file your claim online.

How can I contact the Department of Labor for questions related to my claim?

  • You should first visit our Online Assistance Center at www.filectui.com

  • We also offer Live Chat on www.filectui.com for questions concerning unemployment compensation, including the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on the program.

  • You may also submit your general question to dol.webhelp@ct.gov. A response can be expected in 3 to 5 business days, depending on volume.

  • When in-person assistance is required, you may go to your nearest American Job Center. Locations can be found here.

If I need to take time off from work because I come down with COVID-19 and have no paid time off through my employer, can I collect unemployment benefits? If I get terminated from my job because I come down with COVID-19 can I collect unemployment benefits?

  • You may file for unemployment benefits and a determination will be made concerning your eligibility. Determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis. However, please note that an individual must be physically able and available for full time work in order to qualify for unemployment benefits.

  • For faster processing of your claim, please have your employer’s registration number and a return to work date readily available when you file your claim online.

  • Your employer should provide you with an Unemployment Separation Package, found here, but do not delay filing if you do not have it.

My employer is requiring that I self-quarantine for 14 days even though I am not sick, and I am not getting paid. Can I collect unemployment benefits? My employer closed its doors and is requiring all employees to stay home for 14 days. My employer does not offer teleworking, and we are not getting paid. Can I collect unemployment benefits?

  • You may file for unemployment benefits and a determination will be made concerning your eligibility. Determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis.

  • For faster processing of your claim, please have your employer’s registration number and a return to work date readily available when you file your claim online.

  • Your employer should provide you with an Unemployment Separation Package, found here, but do not delay filing if you do not have it.

I am unable to work because of a family member’s illness. Can I collect unemployment benefits?

  • If you are unable to work, you are most likely ineligible for UI until you are able to work. However, you may file for unemployment benefits and a determination will be made concerning your eligibility. Determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis.

  • For faster processing of your claim, please have your employer’s registration number and a return to work date readily available when you file your claim online.

  • Your employer should provide you with an Unemployment Separation Package, found here if you do not have it.

If my employer only permits me to work part-time rather than my full-time hours, will I be able to collect unemployment benefits? If I have a full time and part time job and my full-time employer closes because of COVID-19, will I be able to collect while still working part time?

  • You should file for benefits as you may be eligible for partial unemployment. Please note: when working and filing, all hours and gross earnings must be reported. A portion of your gross earnings will be deducted from your weekly benefit rate.

My employer may have retaliated against me because I filed for unemployment benefits. Is there any recourse?

Yes. It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against individuals who have exercised their rights under the Connecticut Unemployment Compensation Act. Conn. Gen. Stat. §31-226a provides individuals who believe that they have been retaliated against with an opportunity for a hearing. 

Does the Paid Sick Leave (PSL) law cover my absence due to COVID-19?
  • For covered service workers and employers with 50 or more employees, PSL will cover certain absences caused by COVID-19.
  • PSL provides up to 40 hours of leave for certain workers per year for the following reasons:
    • A service worker's illness, injury or health condition
    • The medical diagnosis, care or treatment of a service worker's mental illness or physical illness, injury or health condition
    • Preventative medical care for a service worker
    • A service worker's child's or spouse's illness, injury or health condition
    • The medical diagnosis, care or treatment of a service worker's child's or spouse's mental or physical illness, injury or health condition
    • Preventative medical care for a child or spouse of a service worker
My employer, who has 20 employees in CT, sent me home because I had a fever and then terminated my employment. Can he do that?
  • Employees in CT are generally considered at-will employees, which means that either the employer or the employee is free to end the relationship at any time unless there is an applicable contract or collective bargaining agreement.
  • Therefore, in most cases, an employer who is not covered by the CT FMLA (over 75 employees in CT), federal FMLA (50 or more employees in a 75-mile radius) or CT’s Paid Sick Leave law (50 employees in CT) may terminate an employee for any reason as long as such termination is not based on an employee’s protected status such as the employee’s race, color, religious creed, age, sex, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, ancestry, present or past history of mental disability, intellectual disability, learning disability, physical disability, including, but not limited to, blindness or status as a veteran or any other applicable contract or law.
  • The employer may institute a more lenient absenteeism policy.