Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

News Release

ICYMI: U.S. Department of Labor Acts to Help American Workers And Employers During the Coronavirus Pandemic

WASHINGTON, DC – Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor took a range of actions to aid American workers and employers as our nation combats the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Reopening America’s Economy:

Keeping America’s Workplaces Safe and Healthy:

  • This week, OSHA continued its efforts to provide detailed, industry-specific guidance for several industries that each face unique challenges in keeping workers safe from coronavirus. Among the documents released this week is guidance aimed at employers who have a duty to keep workers in nursing home and long-term care facilities safe from coronavirus exposure. OSHA’s compliance assistant tools are available to all employers to help protect workers from hazards. 
  • The guidance documents released this week include:

Helping Unemployed Americans:

  • U.S. Department of Labor Issues Guidance and Reminders to States To Ensure Integrity of Unemployment Insurance Programs – The Department of Labor issued targeted guidance and reminders that provide states with details regarding required integrity functions for their regular unemployment compensation programs, as well as those authorized by Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, in UIPL 23-20. The guidance aims to help states guard against fraud and abuse of their unemployment insurance systems.
  • Helping States with Technology Needs – Secretary Scalia has marshaled the resources of the U.S. Digital Service, the Department of Labor Office of the Chief Information Officer, the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Labor Office of Unemployment Insurance, and other organizations to assist States as they contend with unemployment insurance system IT issues arising from large claims volume and often outdated computer systems. Together, these agencies have conducted outreach and provided assistance on performance and scalability of systems, procurement prioritization with vendors, call center consultation, and architecture reviews. Several states have already engaged the Department for help, and it remains available to help any state that would like its services.

Defending Workers’ Rights to Paid Leave

  • Wage and Hour Administrator Cheryl Stanton authored a blog post regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Administrator Stanton wrote about how eligible employees working for covered employers can access paid leave under the FFCRA by checking with their employer, requesting the leave, and letting their employer know which of the qualifying conditions applies.

Helping Dislocated Workers

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Labor is focused on protecting the safety and health of American workers, assisting our state partners as they deliver traditional unemployment and expanded unemployment benefits under the CARES Act, ensuring Americans know their rights to new paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave, providing guidance and assistance to employers, and carrying out the mission of the Department.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

Office of the Secretary
May 17, 2020
Release Number
Media Contact: Department of Labor National Contact Center
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