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Oregon eases unemployment requirements as COVID-19 response causes lay-off boom

The Oregon Employment Department says that it adopted new rules today in response to the many people now out of work due to coronavirus.

Posted: Mar 18, 2020 5:37 PM
Updated: Mar 19, 2020 9:56 AM

SALEM, Ore. — The new coronavirus and Oregon's restrictions intended to stop its spread have caused a sudden boom in laid-off or furloughed workers. On Wednesday the Oregon Employment Department announced that it had eased rules in order to account for the influx of people seeking unemployment benefits.

"The health and safety of workplaces is of utmost importance to the Oregon Employment Department, and the agency’s mission is to support business and promote employment," it said in a statement. "The Employment Department has guidance available to employers, workers, and job seekers impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus situation."

OED said that the number of unemployment claims shot from about 800 on Sunday to 18,500 by Tuesday.

Unemployment insurance benefits are supposed to extend to most workers who are out of work "through no fault of their own," OED said. Workers have to meet certain requirements to receive those benefits, however.

"In general, to claim and receive unemployment benefits for a week, workers must be available for work, able to work, and actively look for work they can do," the agency said.


RELATED: Southern Oregon restaurants shift to take-out or close their doors after Governor's order


On Wednesday, OED adopted new temporary rules to gain greater flexibility in providing benefits to workers affected by the COVID-19 response.

"Unemployment Insurance benefits are available during temporary layoffs related to COVID-19 situations," the agency continued. "These benefits occur for employees whose employer stops operation for a short period of time, such as cleaning following a coronavirus exposure, or by government requirement. Workers can get unemployment benefits, and do not need to seek work with other employers if their place of employment will resume operations."

In order to receive benefits, affected workers must still be able to work, stay in contact with their employer, and be available to work when called back. For more information or to find a claim, you can visit the OED website here.

"Although we know the COVID-19 coronavirus is causing a reduction in economic activity both nationally and in Oregon, it’s too early for unemployment rate or payroll jobs numbers to show the impact of these employment disruptions," OED said. "The Employment Department will provide more information online as updated data become available."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 40443

Reported Deaths: 635
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah8743155
Marion5590106
Washington546973
Umatilla329543
Clackamas299065
Lane221226
Malheur186634
Jackson15556
Deschutes107413
Yamhill95615
Linn76414
Polk63915
Jefferson5979
Morrow5426
Lincoln50913
Union4582
Benton4186
Klamath4013
Wasco33515
Douglas3314
Hood River2721
Josephine2583
Columbia2491
Clatsop2340
Coos2290
Baker1132
Crook872
Tillamook700
Curry561
Wallowa402
Lake340
Sherman180
Harney170
Gilliam110
Grant100
Wheeler10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 886939

Reported Deaths: 17167
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2904866944
Riverside650561275
San Bernardino609451065
Orange576351423
San Diego53263863
Kern33551413
Fresno30220430
Sacramento24811474
Santa Clara23591382
Alameda22932435
San Joaquin21436484
Contra Costa18273238
Stanislaus17403394
Tulare17317279
Ventura13930160
Imperial12610336
San Francisco11969137
Monterey1115884
San Mateo10918157
Santa Barbara9671119
Merced9386153
Sonoma9016134
Kings817383
Solano720574
Marin7036127
Madera492873
San Luis Obispo408032
Placer402355
Yolo309958
Butte302651
Santa Cruz272524
Napa190814
Sutter182112
Shasta178629
San Benito141114
El Dorado13024
Yuba128010
Mendocino111121
Tehama7938
Lassen7611
Lake67815
Glenn6473
Nevada5988
Humboldt5609
Colusa5486
Calaveras33917
Amador31316
Tuolumne2574
Inyo21815
Siskiyou1860
Del Norte1751
Mono1752
Mariposa782
Plumas610
Modoc270
Trinity250
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
Medford
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