Begin Main Content Area

Employees Who Are Not Working or Not Teleworking Due to an Office Closure​

Page last updated April 13, 2020 -  6:30 p.m.



Expand AllClick here for a more accessible version

​1. Can the Commonwealth require employees to use leave if state offices are closed? 

​2. Can I apply for unemployment compensation?

​3. Do I need to use all my paid leave before applying for unemployment compensation?

​4. Will commonwealth health care coverage continue for employees while they are receiving unemployment compensation? How will employee health care costs be paid while employees are on unemployment compensation? Will health care benefits continue uninterrupted when employees return to commonwealth employment?

​5. Are employees required to use a certain amount of paid leave each pay period to retain their health care benefits?

​6. How does unemployment compensation affect my retirement? Will money be withheld for retirement while on unemployment compensation?

​7. Will I lose my seniority if I chose to take a leave without pay (LWOP) with benefits absence? Will people with less seniority continue to accrue seniority if they choose to use paid leave?

​8. What if unemployment compensation determines I am not eligible for benefits? Can I go back and change the unpaid absences to paid leave at that point?

​9. If I receive COVID-19 unemployment compensation, will I still be covered under FMLA or does that coverage end?

​10. How do I get my wage and date of hire information to file for unemployment compensation?

​11. Am I guaranteed to not lose my job while using FMLA-designated leave? Does applying for unemployment compensation forfeit my position with the Commonwealth? Am I less likely to be called back to work if I am on unemployment compensation?

​12. What commonwealth positions are not eligible for unemployment compensation (exempt)?

​13. I'm filing my initial unemployment compensation claim and I’m being asked for my "Employer Unemployment Compensation Account Number.” Where can I obtain this?

​14. Can I apply for unemployment compensation in advance of starting leave without pay (LWOP) with benefits so there is no gap in my income?

​15. If work is offered to me, and I turn it down in favor of leave without pay (LWOP) with benefits, does that disqualify me from collecting unemployment compensation?

​16. If the unemployment compensation approval process is prolonged – 3 or 4 weeks – am I able to switch back to paid leave if I need money?

​17. What date should I use for my unemployment compensation application - the date when paid leave for office closings (POC) due to COVID-19 ended (April 10) or the date I will receive my last paycheck?

​18. Can I use paid leave while waiting for a unemployment compensation determination?

​19. The unemployment compensation application asks for a reason, but this isn't technically a layoff so do what I put as the reason?

​20. Can I apply for unemployment compensation while on call for emergency duty?

21. Can I use my accrued and/or anticipated annual leave while my office is closed due to COVID-19?

22. Can my supervisor deny the use of accrued or anticipated annual leave while my office is closed due to COVID-19?

23. Can I use accrued compensatory leave (aka “Comp Leave”) while my office is closed due to COVID-19?

24. Can my supervisor deny the use of compensatory leave while my office is closed due to COVID-19?

25. Can I use my accrued and/or anticipated sick leave while my office is closed due to COVID-19?

26. If I use sick leave because I am sick or injured for any reason including sickness due to COVID-19, do I still need a note from my doctor?

27. Can my supervisor deny the use of sick leave while offices are closed due to COVID-19?

28. Can I use approved leave without pay (LWOP) with benefits instead of using all my paid leave while my office is closed due to COVID-19?

29. Can I use a combination of leave without pay (LWOP) with benefits and paid leave while my office is closed due to COVID-19?

30. Am I still responsible to pay the employee health care contribution if I use leave without pay (LWOP) with benefits while my office is closed due to COVID-19?

31. Am I required to use my paid leave, or can I choose to use unpaid leave?