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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.

Cases: 193732

Reported Deaths: 2572
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah38352591
Washington25592233
Marion22026306
Clackamas17440214
Lane13007148
Jackson10862139
Deschutes896274
Umatilla820284
Linn492969
Yamhill446376
Klamath441164
Polk375752
Malheur351863
Josephine334570
Douglas327271
Benton310019
Jefferson219837
Coos206633
Columbia174427
Union144823
Lincoln137921
Wasco137728
Hood River118730
Crook111322
Morrow110716
Clatsop9858
Baker95414
Tillamook6493
Curry6469
Grant5095
Lake4517
Harney3448
Wallowa1845
Gilliam631
Sherman581
Wheeler321
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3764405

Reported Deaths: 62573
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123645624067
Riverside2994554594
San Bernardino2967824715
San Diego2785913729
Orange2709835026
Santa Clara1190642096
Kern1091771374
Sacramento1048401686
Fresno1018381688
Alameda879401657
Ventura810011013
San Joaquin732201391
Contra Costa68741805
Stanislaus621421061
Tulare49654839
Monterey43613383
San Mateo42038568
San Francisco36720544
Santa Barbara34337456
Solano32953252
Merced31898460
Sonoma30035320
Imperial28443726
Kings22989246
Placer22679292
San Luis Obispo21308260
Madera16462242
Santa Cruz16264207
Marin14056227
Yolo13910210
Shasta12152226
Butte12026199
El Dorado10168112
Napa987082
Sutter9433112
Yuba626847
San Benito606563
Lassen570624
Tehama557262
Nevada474275
Tuolumne413166
Mendocino410149
Humboldt404641
Amador365847
Lake347643
Glenn239125
Colusa223416
Siskiyou223424
Calaveras212954
Inyo142838
Del Norte13938
Mono12844
Plumas7106
Modoc4994
Mariposa4487
Trinity4005
Sierra1120
Alpine880
Unassigned520
Medford
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