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Impacted Employees Can Apply For Unemployment Insurance Benefits Immediately

Yesterday the Governor issued an Executive Order waiving the waiting period on unemployment insurance, potentially making benefits available to COVID-19-impacted employees immediately. In addition to employees impacted by lay-offs through no fault of their own, the program has been modified to cover employees who cannot work due to childcare issues caused by the closure of a school. Also, the Executive Order waives the ordinary five-week benefit limitation for business owners who have become unemployed as a result of COVID-19. To access this program and for more information visit There is a very useful FAQ section on that webpage. Note the Executive Order also waives employer surcharges (or premium increases) for these claims. Reference: Executive Order 20-05.

Closure of Restaurant & Bar Dine-In Service, Plus Many Other Places of Public Accommodation

Also, yesterday the Governor issued an Executive Order closing dine-in service at restaurants and bars, along with other venues such as gyms, bowling alleys, movie theaters, and more. Farm and construction equipment dealers are not required to be closed. Walz’s order does not encompass all of retail and Pioneer EDA is working proactively with the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to ensure he fully understands that farm and construction equipment dealers provide services that are essential to Minnesota’s food production and transportation infrastructure. It is our hope that with voluntary closures and the existing Executive Order further restrictions will not be needed. In the event further actions are necessary we will be there to help guide the Governor on vital and essential retail services that should remain open. Reference: Executive Order 20-04.

Schools Close For Preparation Until March 27 With Potential Shift To Online Learning

On Sunday the Governor closed schools for online learning preparation through March 27. As employers it is important to note that you should anticipate school closures may last beyond March 27. It is the intention of the Walz administration that schools use this time to prepare for online learning, giving the indication that online learning may be the delivery method for schools for the short term past that date. The Executive Order also created a childcare program for educators, healthcare workers and emergency workers. Reference: Executive Order 20-02. It is important to understand how this Order will affect your employees who have children at home.

Revised from a Minnesota Retailers Association publication.

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