Waiting Period Waiver and Employer Benefit Relief
August 29, 2011
Rhode Island employers forced to lay off workers temporarily as a direct result of Hurricane Irene may be able to help their employees connect to unemployment insurance benefits sooner if the employers apply for a waiver with the Department of Labor and Training. RI Law § 28-44-14 waives the usual one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance if a worker's unemployment is caused by a natural disaster or state of emergency.
Also, employers whose storm-related property damage has resulted in worker layoffs may be granted relief from related unemployment benefit charges if their businesses are deemed eligible under another weather related law, § 28-43-3. Under ordinary circumstances, employers are charged against their unemployment insurance account every time one of their employees draws on unemployment insurance.
ABOUT DLT: The RI Department of Labor and Training offers employment services, educational services and economic opportunity to both individuals and employers. DLT protects Rhode Island’s workforce by enforcing labor laws, prevailing wage rates and workplace health and safety standards. The department also provides temporary income support to unemployed and temporarily disabled workers. For more information on the programs and services available to all Rhode Islanders, please call the RI Department of Labor and Training at (401) 462-8000 or visit the web site at www.dlt.ri.gov.