As local businesses across the county seek to comply with local, state and national guidelines in the wake of COVID-19, a number have been forced to close or alter their ways of doing business, resulting in layoffs.
Those people are now left scrambling to replace their paychecks. Traci Holt, the executive director of the Alliance for Workforce Development, said her office has been handling a constant stream of requests for assistance.
Her organization is devoted to connecting employers with employees, and there are some opportunities — chiefly in the grocery industry.
But most of the advice sought last week was for unemployment. She said that individuals must file for unemployment benefits online at www.labor.ca.gov. The website has clearly marked links for those displaced due to COVID-19.
An announcement on the page reads: “In the face of the COVID-19, the Labor & Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) wants to keep workers, employers, co-workers, and families safe. What employees are entitled to may be confusing. We are trying to make it easier and spread awareness through this centralized source of info. Use the guidance below to determine what is best for you, your family, and your workplace.”
Some of the benefits that individuals can be eligible for include:
– Paid family leave
– Paid sick leave
– Unemployment insurance
– Disability insurance
– Workers compensation
“It’s very important that people use COVID-19 as the reason,” for their unemployment, Holt said. She added that the normal one-week waiting period to receive benefits has been waived during this health crisis.
“They will need to be patient, because the system is overwhelmed right now,” Holt said.
While her office is now closed to the public, employees are still available to assist by calling 283-1606. She also directed people to the agency’s Facebook page for the latest information.
The Alliance for Workforce Development serves Butte, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas and Sierra counties.