Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that individuals who reject an offer from their company to return to their jobs after they are laid off due to the pandemic are no longer considered eligible to receive unemployment benefits from the federal government.
The secretary added that companies receiving benefits under the Payment Protection Program, a measure that was included under the CARES Act, who then allow employees to return to work after they were laid off or furloughed have to now notify state unemployment offices of their offers.
If the employee turns down the job offer, they are considered ineligible to receive unemployment benefits, which were expanded under the CARES Act. The legislation was passed as tens of millions of Americans lost their jobs or were furloughed after businesses shut down to slow the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
It came after Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) questioned whether the expanded unemployment insurance, which saw a $600 per week boost, would disincentivize people to find work or return to work.
The Labor Department in April issued public guidance on the relationship between unemployment benefits and the Payment Protection Program. The program allows for banks to distribute government-backed loans to businesses that employ fewer than 500 employees, and a loan will be forgiven at least 75 percent if it is used to pay employee salaries and overhead costs such as rent.
Meanwhile, Mnuchin wrote to the Senate that he expects to see high unemployment numbers and other negative economic data during the second quarter. However, he believes that it will improve when the economy beings to reopen again.