32BJ Policy Report March 20, 2020

32BJ is fighting at the state, local and federal level to make sure that workers are not left behind in this critical moment.
Here’s an update on what we’ve fought for and won this week:
NEW YORK
NY – UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FIXES
New Yorkers: If your job was closed due to COVID-19 you no longer have to wait 7 days to apply for unemployment insurance, thanks to action taken by the State and advocacy by 32BJ and the labor movement. Click on this link to learn more and how to file a claim: https://www.labor.ny.gov/home/ 32BJ is fighting every day for even more unemployment insurance protections as millions of workers are impacted by this pandemic.
NY – EMERGENCY PAID LEAVE
If you have personally been placed under an order of mandatory or precautionary quarantine by the State of NY, NY State Department of Health, or a local Board of Health because you tested positive for or were exposed to COVID-19, your job is protected and you are entitled to paid leave. Click on this link to learn more, or call 1-888-364-3065 to ask questions: https://www.governor.ny.gov/paid-sick-leave-covid-19-impacted-new-yorkers/emergency-covid-19-paid-sick-leave 32BJ fought for these protections so that workers under these dire circumstances do not have to worry about losing income; we continue to fight for statewide paid sick leave and broader protections for all workers impacted by COVID-19.
NEW JERSEY
NJ – EARNED SICK LEAVE
Thanks to 32BJ’s advocacy over the years, New Jersey already has a strong Earned Sick Leave law that covers public health emergencies like COVID-19. All NJers should be aware of and able to access this crucial benefit, and we are continuing the fight to strengthen these protections. Click here for more information: https://www.nj.gov/labor/worker-protections/earnedsick/covid.shtml
NJ- UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Thanks to 32BJ’s advocacy over the years, New Jersey’s unemployment insurance program does NOT require a wait time to apply for unemployment if you lost your job through no fault of your own. Plus, if your job was closed because of COVID-19, you do not have to show that you are actively looking for work in order to apply for unemployment.  If you need to file a claim now because your job was closed due to COVID-19, click here: https://myunemployment.nj.gov/ 32BJ is fighting every day for even more unemployment insurance protections as millions of workers are impacted by this pandemic.
PENNSYLVANIA
PA – UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FIXES
If your job was closed due to COVID-19 you no longer have to wait to apply for unemployment insurance, nor do you have to show that you are actively looking for work, thanks to action taken by the State and advocacy by 32BJ and the labor movement. Click on this link to learn more and how to file a claim: https://www.uc.pa.gov/unemployment-benefits/file/Pages/File%20an%20Initial%20Claim.aspx 32BJ is fighting every day for even more unemployment insurance protections as millions of workers are impacted by this pandemic.
FLORIDA – UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FIXES & EXPANSION ADVOCACY
Workers everywhere are struggling with the economic impact of COVID-19 – that’s why we are fighting round the clock to expand and strengthen access to unemployment insurance for workers in Florida whose jobs are being closed because of this pandemic. If your job was closed due to COVID-19, you no longer have to wait to apply for unemployment insurance, nor do you have to show that you are actively looking for work, thanks to advocacy from 32BJ and the labor movement in Florida
CONNECTICUT – UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE AND HOME UTILITIES
If your job is affected and you need to file for unemployment insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can apply right away, thanks to action by the Governor and advocacy by your fellow 32BJ members all year round. No need to wait a week, no need to prove you are searching for work. If your hours are reduced, your employer can supplement wages with Shared Work benefits. You can get more info on these programs here: https://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/DOLCOVIDFAQ.PDF 
The state has also ordered utility companies to suspend all utility shutoffs so that residents can remain in their homes.
 
VIRGINIA – UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, UTILITIES, AND HOUSING
If your job is affected and you need to file for unemployment insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can apply right away, thanks to action by the Governor and advocacy by your fellow 32BJ members all year round. Find the details and file your claim here
 
The state is also suspending electric, gas, water and sewer companies from cutting off service if you can’t pay, and suspending new eviction cases for tenants who are unable to pay rent as a result of COVID-19. Keep up with the latest here: virginia.gov/coronavirus.
 
MASSACHUSETTS – UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
If your job is affected and you need to file for unemployment insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can apply right away, thanks to action by the Governor and advocacy by your fellow 32BJ members all year round. Get info in English, Spanish, or Portuguese here: https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-unemployment-and-coronavirus-covid-19. You can also apply by telephone by calling 617-626-6800 or 877-626-6800.
 
WASHINGTON, DC – UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, HOUSING, UTILITIES, PUBLIC ASSISTANCE AND MEDICAL LEAVE
Important info for you and your family. Thanks to action by the mayor and council, and advocacy year-round by your fellow 32BJ members, DC has announced measures to extend unemployment compensation and family medical leave to people affected by COVID-19, prohibit evictions and late fees on rent, prohibit utility shut-offs, and extend DC Healthcare Alliance, TANF, and SNAP. For more information, or to apply for unemployment, please visit https://coronavirus.dc.gov/recovery-individuals. Keep up with the latest here: coronavirus.dc.gov.
 
 
 
MARYLAND- UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, UTILITIES, AND HOUSING
If your job is reduced or cut during the COVID-19 pandemic, you are likely to be eligible for unemployment and/or other resources. Go to this website for the latest information: http://labor.maryland.gov/employment/uicovidfaqs.shtml
In addition, the state is prohibiting eviction of individuals affected by COVID-19 and prohibiting electric, gas, sewage, telegraph, telephone, water, cable and internet companies from charging late fees or cutting off service to households. Keep up with the latest here: coronavirus.maryland.gov
 
 
RHODE ISLAND – UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE AND UTILITIES
If your job is affected and you need to file for unemployment insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can apply right away, thanks to action by the Governor and advocacy by your fellow 32BJ members all year round. See this fact sheet for more info and how to apply: http://www.dlt.state.ri.us/pdfs/COVID-19%20Workplace%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf. Under an emergency order, utility companies cannot shut off your services during the pandemic due to nonpayment. For more info and updates, visit https://health.ri.gov/diseases/ncov2019/.
 
Airport Workers
32BJ is demand that any airline bailout by Congress prioritizes the health, safety & economic security of the contracted airport workers who keep our airports running. 
Email your congressperson: http://bit.ly/ProtectAirportWorkers