What you need to know about that extra $ 300 a week for the unemployed

After months of negotiations, lawmakers over the weekend came to an agreement on a $ 900 billion stimulus package that was passed by Congress on Monday. (If you want to read the bill, it is about 5500 pages longFor the millions of struggling Americans who lost their jobs during the pandemic, help appears to be on the way, unless there are last-minute changes instigated by President Donald Trump.

  • Additional advantages but less than before: The new federal pandemic unemployment compensation bill provides an additional $ 300 per week for all workers receiving or eligible for unemployment benefits. (This is half of what was provided in the CARES Law, which expired in July.) This new benefit is valid from December 26, 2020 to March 14, 2021.

REMARK: The additional $ 300 in weekly unemployment benefits will automatically apply to recipients, but must be administered by the state. So it is possible that it will take a while and some of these benefits will end up being paid retroactively, Farrell Brody, a workers’ rights lawyer at TakeRoot Justice noted.

  • 11 more weeks: The new program also expanded the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program (PEUC), which offers additional weeks of federally funded unemployment benefits to those who exhaust their regular state benefits. . So, for people who qualify for traditional Unemployment Insurance (UI), here’s the math: you get 26 weeks of state benefits, 13 weeks of CARES law benefits, and now 11 weeks of the new PEUC extension. for a total of 50 weeks. (You may also be eligible for an additional 20 weeks under the New York extended benefits program.) The latest federal extension will close to new claimants on March 14, 2021. If a beneficiary has not reached their total benefits d ‘here, payments will be made until April 5.
  • Ditto for freelancers, freelancers and gig workers: The additional 11 weeks also extend to those receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which is unemployment assistance for self-employed, freelance, and concert workers who are not traditionally eligible. regular unemployment insurance. These workers now also receive 50 weeks of benefits (plus an additional seven weeks available under the New York extended benefits program). The final extension will close to new claimants on March 14, 2021. If a beneficiary does not reach their total benefits by then, payments will continue until April 5.
  • $ 100 more per week for some: Some workers have both salary income (as recorded on a W-2 form) and are self-employed (such as freelancers). As a result of the pandemic, these workers may have lost both of their jobs. A worker might be entitled to traditional unemployment insurance because of the loss of his paid job. But if they earned more than $ 5,000 in self-employment income, they would not be eligible for the PUA and their unemployment benefits could be significantly lower. Now workers who can’t get PUA may be eligible for an additional $ 100 per week, in addition to the additional $ 300.

Yes. The bill provides for a tax credit to support employers offering paid sick leave, based on the framework of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. It’s the law requiring some employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or extended family and medical leave for reasons related to COVID-19. We wrote about it in our last update. It was not immediately clear how this was broken down for New York, but we will keep you posted.

There are many other provisions outlined in the bill that will affect New Yorkers, including money for public transportation and help for those struggling with food and housing insecurity.

Here’s our look at what’s to come..

Here is a good Q&A from The New York Times on the relaunch and a summary of where the Washington Post’s $ 900 billion is going.

Ernesto Sarmiento has a drink at Miti Miti in Park Sloper after returning to work after several months of quarantine on June 19, 2020.
Ben Fractenberg / THE CITY

Out of economic desperation caused by the pandemic, some employers may exploit workers and violate wages and hours laws, Elissa Devins, founder of the Labor Law Project at NYLAG, tell us. This could include paying employees less than minimum wage, less than what they earned, or withholding wages.

Brody from TakeRoot Justice said: “Desperation leads to… more minimum wage violations, more unpaid wage claims. I hear more reports of employment agencies placing people in jobs that pay less than minimum wage. It’s a scam right now.

So here’s what you need to know:

By law, you must be paid minimum wage.

  • In New York City, the minimum wage is $ 15 an hour for businesses of all sizes.
  • In Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, it is $ 13 an hour.
  • In the rest of the state, it’s $ 11.80 an hour.

The only exception is for workers who receive tips, such as food service workers – they can make a tip. lower salary across New York State. But employers are still obligated to ensure that the wages plus tips add up to at least the minimum, and to make up the difference if necessary.

You can drop a claim for unpaid wages if your employer:

  • Withheld your tips for any reason
  • Did not pay you for all the hours you worked (including on-the-job training)
  • Lower your rate of pay without notice
  • Gave you a paycheck that bounced due to “Insufficient Funds” (NSF)

You can drop a minimum wage request / overtime pay if your employer:

  • Paid you less than the current minimum wage, fast food minimum wage, or tip worker minimum wage
  • Did not pay you overtime rate for hours worked over 40 in a week (most employees should be paid one and a half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over and over 40 years old during a working week, but there are some exceptions).

You can drop a request for unpaid salary supplements if your employer has promised you (verbally or in writing), but has not provided any earnings:

  • Vacation pay
  • Vacation pay
  • Bonus

Following: To see all the reasons you might file a salary claim against your employer, go to here.

Many of us have worked from home for a long time. You may already have your routine under control. But if you need any advice or ideas, Ellen Mehling from Brooklyn Public Library Business and Career Center has a few on how to work successfully and healthily from home:

  • Develop a routine before work: This can include making coffee, having breakfast, stretching or exercising before starting the work day, reviewing and fine-tuning your to-do list, etc.
  • Design an efficient workspace: If you can, create a workspace in your home where you have everything you need to work efficiently at your fingertips, and set it up to be comfortable for you and without interruptions or distractions.
  • Determine what times of the day you are most productive: Depending on your function and your employer, you may have more freedom in a work from home situation to work as and when you prefer. Many people will want to limit work to certain predictable hours, while others may prefer to switch between work and other activities during the day. Make sure you have time for yourself each day that is really out of order.
  • Communication is the key: Your employer should be clear about what is expected of you, regarding working hours and their flexibility, preferred methods of communication, availability and response times, deadlines, frequency of meetings and whether cameras are required. be on, etc.
  • Self-care is crucial for your mental and physical health, especially now. Take the time to rest, relax, spend time – virtually or in person – with your friends and loved ones. Find opportunities for exercise, meditation, and / or other activities outside of work to avoid burnout. Eat healthy, nutritious meals.

If you have any specific questions about working or being unemployed in New York during the pandemic or anything else that you think we should cover, let us know by sending an email to [email protected]

For more jobs, labor resources and unemployment, here’s what New Yorkers who attended THE CITY’s open press room shared. If you see something that you think we should include, let us know.

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