DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — With additional businesses allowed to reopen on Friday, some Texas workers are concerned about having to choice between their safety and being able to pay the bills.
As a general rule, if a business reopens and an employee chooses not to return to work, the employee is not eligible to receive unemployment benefits.
However, in an interview with the CBS 11 I-Team, Texas Workforce Commission Director Ed Serna said no one will “automatically be cut off” from benefits if they feel unsafe to return to work or cannot return because of a COVID-19 reason.
“We are going to look at each case on an individual basis,” Serna said. “There are circumstances that exist now that don’t normally exist. Someone could be diagnosed with COVID. Someone could be in quarantine. Someone could be caring for someone diagnosed with COVID-19. There could be someone with childcare issues that can’t go back until they get that resolved. We are not going to automatically cut off benefits to anybody.”
Serna said if an employee decides not to go back to work they should contact the Texas Workforce Commission to explain why.
The Texas Workforce Commission is working to develop clear guidelines on this issue.
Watch CBS 11’s Brian New’s full interview with Texas Workforce Commission Director Ed Serna here: