Workers resisting return to work after getting paid more on unemployment

Coronavirus New Mexico

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – As businesses start reopening over the next couple weeks, they’re contacting their employees to bring them back. Some of them are finding their employees don’t want to come back to work because they’re making more on unemployment, a lot more.

“Now, let’s be very clear if you are asked to come back to work by an employer, let’s say you’re on furlough, you are required to come back to work unless you can provide what’s called good cause,” said Bill McCamley the Secretary of Workforce Solutions.

Monday, the department released guidelines on the issue of some employees refusing to come back to work. Older workers or workers with underlying health issues would have good cause to stay at home.

“We are very clear in saying hey look if you’ve got severe to moderate asthma, if you’re over the age of 65, you’re at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and that would be a good cause for you to stay away from your work,” said McCamley.

Just last week, the owner of a beauty supply store who says some of her employees don’t want to come back to work until later in the summer because they’re making so much more on unemployment.

Currently, workers who make up to $11.50 an hour are getting their full pay on unemployment, plus $600 a week in supplemental money from the federal government. Those $600 checks run out at the end of July.

The state has also set up an email (uitax.support@state.nm.us) for employers to contact if someone refuses to come back to work. There are more than 80,000 New Mexicans on unemployment now, most of them joining the rolls in the past six weeks.


New Mexico Coronavirus Resources

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