The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) recently announced two important updates that change the employer’s responsibility as it relates to unemployment due to COVID-19.

Most employers have already been providing notification when terminating an employee, but are you adhering to the SCDEW requirements?

Notice To Employees Upon Separation Of Employment

SCDEW requires employers to provide employees with this notice about unemployment prior to terminating an employee. Businesses must provide the notice to employees informing them that:

  • Unemployment insurance (UI) benefits are available to workers who are unemployed and who meet the requirements of South Carolina’s UI eligibility laws;

  • Employees may file a UI claim if they are separated from employment or their work hours are reduced;

  • Employees will need to provide SCDEW with their full legal name, Social Security Number, and authorization to work if the worker is not a US citizen or resident in order to process their claim; and

  • Employees may visit the Department of Employment and Workforce’s (SCDEW) website at dew.sc.gov or call DEW at 1-866-831-1724 for assistance or more information.

The notification can be provided via hard copy in-person, via mail, via email or even text message. It is expected that the changes are only required for employees who are separated due to COVID-19-related issues and may be eligible for unemployment, not employees terminated for cause or reasons other than COVID-19. SCDEW has not indicated if there are any penalties for failing to comply with the recent updates.

Employee Refusal Of Work Offer

Employers are experiencing issues with employees that are not interested in returning to work because they would rather receive unemployment benefits. SCDEW is stepping in to assist employers in bringing their employees back to work.

Individuals that turn down job offers of suitable work will not be eligible for unemployment benefits. Employers should follow the steps in the Refusal of Job Offer Guide to report the incident to DEW through the Employer Self-Service Portal. You may also submit an Offer of Work Form (UCB-261) by mail. Employees may still be entitled to paid leave benefits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act or company policy.

As you begin the process of reopening, refer to the Return to Work Checklist on our website, www.willishr.com. If you have other questions, feel free to email [email protected].