Department of Labor & Workforce Development

NJDOL and the Coronavirus (COVID-19): Updated Information for Employers & Businesses

restaurant owner looking at paperwork in an empty restaurant

The COVID-19 virus has impacted all of our daily routines, with many employers feeling especially vulnerable.

We urge you to continue to pay your workers whether or not they are able to work. Bipartisan federal legislation provided small and mid-sized businesses with 100 percent compensation for providing two weeks of federal emergency paid sick leave to employees, along with tax credits for providing up to 12 weeks of federal emergency childcare leave through FMLA. Tax breaks for paid leave were also provided to self-employed workers.

As employers recall employees to work, they often have questions about the unemployment benefits available, and workplace health and safety and caregiving protections they must offer their employees. The questions and answers below help illustrate under which limited conditions benefits may still be available, and describe some of the laws that employers should be aware of as they bring employees back to work.


In most cases, an individual is disqualified from collecting Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits if he or she voluntarily quits or refuses suitable work; exceptions could occur where an individual quits or refuses work because the work poses a high degree of risk to health and safety.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) may be available to those who cannot work or must work reduced hours due to COVID-19, including because of school and care facility closures.

NJDOL examines cases on an individual basis, and makes eligibility determinations in accordance with the law.

The information below will be updated as our response to COVID-19 evolves, so please check back often.