Department of Labor & Workforce Development

Returning to Work Amid COVID-19

a woman wearing a mask working behind the counter of a cafe

FAQ on unemployment, worker health & safety protections, and caregiving

As the New Jersey economy reopens, many workers have questions about unemployment benefits, workplace health and safety, and caregiving. The information below will help explain whether benefits may still be available in certain scenarios, and describe some of the laws that employees should be aware of as they return to work.

Keep in mind:

• In most cases, you can't collect Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits if you voluntarily quit or refuse 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.


For additional details, see NJDOL’s guidance.

Click here for information on other worker benefits and protections.