INFORMATION FOR WORKERS AFFECTED BY COVID-19

Information provided to assist those whom recently
suffered a job loss due to COVID-19.

Steps to take to file an unemployment claim

  • First, ask your employer if you are eligible for newly enacted leave and pay benefits, provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
  • To apply for unemployment compensation, contact the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance. To apply over the phone, call 617-626-6800 or 877-626-6800. You can also apply online at www.mass.gov/how-to/apply-for-unemployment-benefits
  • See the Department of Unemployment Assistance Coronavirus Unemployment Handbook here.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

The State is considering legislation to waive the 1 week waiting period for applicants who are displaced by the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Benefits may be available to a worker who is out of work due to temporary shutdown of work, lay off, quarantine or an order to stay home.

If you are out of work for coronavirus (COVID-19) related reasons, and you are a full time employee of an eligible employer and

  • you are sick with coronavirus or have symptoms and are seeking a diagnosis, or
  • you are unable to work because you are quarantined, or
  • you are caring for a person diagnosed with coronavirus or subject to quarantine, or
  • you are caring for a child whose school is closed or child care provider is unavailable for reasons related to coronavirus (COVID-19)

You may be entitled to paid sick leave.

If you are sick with coronavirus (COVID-19) or have symptoms and are seeking a diagnosis or you are unable to work because you are quarantined, you may be eligible for two weeks (or 10 work days or up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at 100% of your pay from your employer. 
If you are caring for a person diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19) or subject to quarantine, or you are caring for a child whose school is closed or child care provider is unavailable for reasons related to coronavirus (COVID-19),  you may be eligible for two weeks (or 10 work days or up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at 2/3 of your pay from your employer.

This is paid leave in addition to paid time off or leave which your employer provides. Part time workers are eligible for benefits under the new law. The law becomes effective April 2, 2020.




If you are unable to work (including to telework) because you must care for your child (who is under 18 years of age) whose school has closed due to the coronavirus public health emergency, you may be entitled to expanded Family and Medical Leave (FMLA).

What to know before visiting a courthouse in MA

Although courthouses physically reopen on July 13th, all courts will still conduct most business virtually -- by telephone, videoconference and email. If you must go to the courthouse, here is what you should know.

You may go to a courthouse to:

  • attend in-person court proceedings
  • conduct in-person business with a clerk's, register's, or recorder's office
  • meet with a probation officer or probation staff person; or
  • conduct business at other offices that are open to the public and located in a courthouse.

You should self-screen before coming to court

  • If you have a cough or fever, or have been exposed to someone who is COVID-positive or is presumed to be COVID positive, please do not go to the courthouse.
  • You may want to make an appointment to facilitate your visit
  • You may bring your cell phone or electronic device to all courthouses
  • Courts may provide a drop-box in a secure and accessible location at the courthouse entrance to deliver pleadings or documents for filing
  • When you arrive, you will be asked a short series of health screening questions
  • You must wear a mask at all times in the courthouse and observe social distancing; any accommodation requested exception for health reasons related to the wearing of a mask or face covering will be referred to the court’s ADA coordinator. It is suggested that you contact the court in advance to discuss such a request.
  • The number of people in a courthouse, or in a specific area of the courthouse, will be limited to ensure social distancing. You may need to wait in another area, if a clerk’s office has reached capacity.
  • Trial Court cleaning protocols comply with CDC Guidelines for Cleaning and Disinfection for Community Facilities.

If you have any questions, please call or email the court directly. Or call the Trial Court Help Line at 833-91-COURT from 8:30-4:30;  Spanish & Portuguese Interpreters are available

https://www.mass.gov/guides/court-system-response-to-covid-19#-what-to-know-before-visiting-a-courthouse-

SJC Order Regarding Public Access to Mass. State Courthouses

BOSTON, MA — The Supreme Judicial Court today issued an updated order regarding public access to Massachusetts state courthouses and court facilities during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The order will go into effect July 13, 2020.

The SJC outlined that courthouses will physically reopen to the public for limited purposes, including some in-person proceedings, on July 13, 2020, but courts will continue to conduct most business virtually. The number of in-person proceedings will further expand during a second phase beginning on August 10, 2020.

The order issued today applies to (a) litigants, attorneys, witnesses, jurors, law enforcement personnel, contractors, vendors, media, and other members of the public when in or seeking entry to a Massachusetts state courthouse or other state court facility, including a probation office or a building that is temporarily being used for court proceedings (courthouse); and (b) non-court personnel whose place of work is in a courthouse (e.g., employees of a Registry of Deeds or the Social Law Library) whenever they are in the courthouse but outside of their immediate place of work.

When courthouses reopen on July 13, entry will be limited to persons attending in-person proceedings, persons conducting business with a clerk’s, register’s, or recorder’s office, persons meeting with probation, and persons conducting business at other open offices in the courthouses. Persons seeking to enter will be screened to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The order outlines a specific screening protocol for those who wish to enter a courthouse.

Those prohibited from going into court facilities will include people who are not wearing face coverings, individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 days, persons experiencing symptoms related to the virus within the previous three days and people waiting for coronavirus test results after showing symptoms or coming into contact with someone who has the disease.

Temperature checks will be applied to all wishing to enter the court facilities.  If a temperature of 100 degrees or higher is registered, that person will not be allowed to enter.

Mass.Gov

Massachusetts Phase 2 Reopening

https://www.mass.gov/doc/june-6-2020-phase-ii-reopening/download

Massachusetts Final Re-Opening Plan

Mass.gov/reopening

Mass Re-Opening Guidelines

We're Here For You

SJC Extends Court Closures

The Supreme Judicial Court has issued an updated order about the operation of courts.  All civil and criminal cases in state court are now postponed until at least June 1st and the courthouses are to remain closed to the public until then.

However, PSRB lawyers and staff continue to work remotely to perform a wide range of tasks to serve you.  With secure, virtual access to our office systems. We are able to handle claims, coordinate benefits and provide support from any location.

Call our offices today for more info. (800)785-5399.

https://www.mass.gov/supreme-judicial-court-rules/supreme-judicial-court-updated-order-regarding-court-operations-under#10-grand-jury

List of Essential Businesses

For up to date information regarding the list of essential businesses, please visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-essential-services?n

Baker-Polito Administration Temporarily Prohibits Utility Shutoffs to Protect Massachusetts Ratepayers

The Baker-Polito Administration announced further action to support ratepayers during the COVID-19 outbreak

The Baker-Polito Administration today announced further action to support ratepayers during the COVID-19 outbreak, directing the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to issue an Order prohibiting investor-owned utility companies from shutting off gas, electric, and water utility service to any customers for failure to pay a bill or a portion of a bill until the State of Emergency is lifted or the DPU determines otherwise.

The announcement builds upon the DPU’s March 13 moratorium requesting utility companies refrain from shutting off gas and electric service to residents across the Commonwealth. The new order will expand the moratorium to include any investor-owned utility customers, including industrial, commercial, and small business customers, during the State of Emergency.

“Protecting the health and safety of Massachusetts residents remains the Baker-Polito Administration’s highest priority, and this order will ensure the continued availability of gas, electric, and water service to all ratepayers during the state of emergency,”  said DPU Chairman Matthew Nelson. “Today’s action will also protect residents and businesses from added economic pressure during these difficult and uncertain times.”

The Order also prohibits investor-owned utility companies from sending communications that threaten to shut off gas, electric, or water service to any of their customers for failure to pay a bill or any portion of a bill the Companies issued to a customer. Any company that fails to comply with these orders may be assessed penalties of up to $1 million per violation.

Additionally, on March 13, the DPU formally requested that that residential competitive electricity suppliers and licensed electricity brokers cease door-to-door marketing activities to ensure that proper risk management protocols have been taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, prioritizing the health and safety of both consumers and any agents conducting marketing efforts.


Mass.Gov