California EDD allows some to turn down work, continue to collect benefits

The State of California Employment Development Department issued a new set of guidelines because of the coronavirus pandemic, which would allow some people to actually turn down work and instead continue to collect unemployment benefits.

“If you have a health condition that makes you at a particularly part of a high-risk group that is considered a legitimate reason,” said Jesse Rothstein, a professor, and director of UC Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor & Employment.

More than 1.2 million people in the state are jobless with the most recent jobs report showing a huge jump in jobless claims, some of which are the result of shelter in place orders that lead to the reduction of outright closure of restaurant’s to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Before the current state of affairs, employees would have to show that they are seeking employment and likely accept new jobs that are offered to them, but the guidelines were loosened during the pandemic.

One reason for the easing of restrictions is that certain professionals such as restaurant workers simply aren’t hiring due to stay at home orders.

Some of those collecting unemployment have found that the benefit pays out more than the job for which they employed.

It was the result of the federal stimulus payment from the CARES Act that that pays an extra $600 per week, which is due to expire in July.