GDOL: Some employees calling in sick to reduce hours and collect PUA

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If an individual is recalled to his or her place of employment and they refuse in order
to collect unemployment benefits, that is considered fraud by the federal government.

This includes calling in sick in order to qualify for unemployment at reduced hours.

“As island businesses slowly open up, it has been brought to my attention that some employers are struggling with their workers calling in sick once a week so that they can claim reduced hours on their unemployment applications. This is a type of fraud and could disqualify individuals from receiving assistance,” said Department of Labor Director David Dell’Isola.

Employers struggling with these issues can report their employees who refuse work by emailing refusalofwork@dol.guam.gov.

“I encourage employers to first talk with their employees and warn them of the consequences if they suspect them of calling in sick just to claim unemployment. Let them know their actions can cause their whole claim to be ineligible for payment,” Dell’Isola added.

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, Guam Del. Michael San Nicolas and Director Dell’Isola worked diligently to get individuals on reduced hours, as a direct result of COVID-19, qualified for pandemic unemployment benefits.

The governor and the director worked with the US Department of Labor to assist the underemployed as well as the unemployed. These benefits however are not to be taken advantage of.

For more information on refusal of work go to dol.guam.gov/refusalofwork.

Currently, the agency is working to implement the third phase of unemployment benefits that extends PUA and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation from March to September 2021.

“As we move toward recovery, keep long-term goals in mind. Prepare for the job market to open up and look into training opportunities and start applying for jobs. It’s better to get an early jump than to wait for the floodgates to open when the program ends in September. Go to hireguam.com which is our free job bank to search for opportunities, or come and see one of our career services specialists down at the American Job Center. The department is always here to help,” Dell’Isola said.

For more information on the unemployment assistance programs go to dol.guam.gov. For login issues, email webadmin@dol.guam.gov. For claim or weekly certification issues, email pua.hotline@dol.guam.gov.

(GDOL News Release)

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