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COVID-19 Resources for Workers

The Indiana AFL-CIO stands with all workers. 

Our first priority as a labor federation is to protect our members. Right now the best way we can do that is to deliver the most accurate informational resources to our members as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change the landscape of the working world. This site will continually be updated as things develop. 


Unemployment Benefits

The Governor and Department of Workforce Development have adopted policies to assist workers whose employment has been adversely affected by the COVID public health emergency.

Unemployed individuals need to be participating in the unemployment insurance (UI) system to qualify for additional payments and extended benefits under the CARES Act.

  • Department of Workforce Development (DWD) will seek to interpret Indiana unemployment law to provide benefits for claimants displaced by COVID
  • DWD has now waived the first week waiting period for UI benefit retroactive to March 8, 2020
  • Members should indicate that they are not working due to a COVID issue, when applicable
  • Employers shall not be penalized for unemployment claims arising from the COVID
  • DWD has waived work search requirements—building trades members already are exempt from work search through hiring halls
  • Sick pay and FMLA leave payments would be deducted from UI benefit
  • If an employee decides to remain at home on his own, without a directive from a medical professional or his employer, the employee will likely not be eligible for UI benefits.


  • The CARES Act, as it has passed the Senate, provides for further benefits to taxpayers and displaced workers.
  • Payment of $600 a week in addition to UI benefits through July 31, 2020
  • Extension of UI benefits to 39 weeks, from 26 weeks, through December 31, 2020
  • Payment of a $1,200 per person, plus $500 per dependent (2 maximum) subject to income limits

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

The CARES Act has created a program to assist individuals who are ineligible for typical Unemployment Benefits such as self-employed workers and individuals who lack sufficient employment credits. This Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program may provide financial assistance to you.

What are the benefits? Eligible individuals will receive weekly benefits based upon what they would have been paid by the Indiana Unemployment Insurance plus an additional $600 in weekly compensation through July 31, 2020.

Who is Eligible? Individuals who are not eligible for unemployment compensation, and who certify that they are otherwise able to work but are unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work for one of the following reasons:

  • been diagnosed with Covid-19 or are experiencing symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis
  • a member of their household has been diagnosed with Covid-19
  • they are providing care to a family member or member of their household who has been diagnosed with Covid-19
  • they have a child or other person in their household to whom they are the primary caregiver who is unable to attend school or another facility due to the Covid-19 emergency, and the individual relies on that coverage in order to work
  • can't get to work because of quarantine imposed due to the Covid-19 emergency
  • can't get to work because they have been advised to self-quarantine because of Covid-19
  • was scheduled to begin work, but no longer has a job or is unable to reach work due to the Covd-19 emergency
  • had to quit their job due to Covid-19
  • workplace is closed due to the Covid-19 emergency

Individuals are generally not entitled to PUA if they can telework for their current employer, or are on paid sick leave or other paid leave.

How to Apply. Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has not yet implemented a program for the application and processing of PUA claims. Presently, DWD is encouraging potential PUA claimants to file an online claim for Indiana UI benefits because you have to be denied UI benefits in order to be later considered for PUA payments. DWD intends to subsequently email those claims who were found to be ineligible regarding the PUA program. You should also check the DWD website on a regular basis for updates.

The DWD website, including the online portal for UI benefit applications, can be found at: 

Further information on UI benefits is also available at: 

For Questions/Assistance: Contact the Indiana State AFL-CIO at 

Paid Leave Benefits - Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Effective April 1

Sick Pay

Creates Right to Ten Paid Sick Days for full-time employees (part-time employees are paid for usual work hours) starting April 1.

Sick Pay at 100% pay—maximum of $511 a day when absence is due to:

  • Quarantine
  • COVID Symptom and seeking COVID diagnosis

   Sick Pay at 2/3 of employee’s wages – maximum of $200 a day when absence is due to:

  • Caring for another person in quarantine or who is ill with COVID
  • Child’s school is closed or child care provider is unavailable
  • Other similar circumstances as defined by Health and Human Services or U.S. DOL

New Family Medical Leave Act Category for Child Care Leave

Creates new FMLA category of 12 weeks of leave for child care due to school closure or because child care provider is unavailable:

  • Employees only have to have been working for an employer for 30 days (as opposed to normal FMLA requirement of 1250 hours) to be eligible for this Child Care Leave
  • Employees will not be paid for first ten days of leave (can use paid sick days or other leave for the first two weeks)
  • Employees will then receive pay for remaining 10 weeks of leave at 2/3 of wages – maximum of $200 a day

Other Highlights of New Sick Leave and FMLA Laws

  • Employers will be reimbursed for sick and FMLA leave expense by federal tax credits, so the employee leave will not cost them any money
  • New Sick leave and FMLA provisions does not apply to employers with more than 500  employees

Employer Screening of Workers

  • Employers may ask employees if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19
  • Employers can take temperature of employees at the place of employment
  • Employers can send an employee home if they exhibit symptoms of COVID-19
  • Employers must keep all employee health information, including any screening forms, confidential
  • Employers cannot ask employees if they have underlying health issues which would make contracting COVID-19 more serious
  • Employers cannot require employees to bring a doctor’s release in order to return to work
  • Employers can require employees to undergo a clearance screening by a doctor selected by the Employer upon the employee’s return to work.

Useful Resources:

Indiana Department of Workforce Development -

Center for Disease Control –

Families First Coronavirus Response Act -

The list below has been provided by affiliates and partner organizations for our members to have the best resources available to ensure the best possible outcome of this global health crisis: 

State/Federal Resources: 

2019 Novel Coronavirus (IN.Gov)
DWD Webinars on Unemployment
Childcare Resources and Referral changes 
CDC Updates 
U.S. Department of Labor Coronavirus Resources 
Governor Holcomb's Executive Order 

Affiliate Resources: 

American Federation of Teachers
American Federation of Musicians
Heat & Frost Insulators 
Nurses Association
UA Plumbers & Pipefitters
United Steelworkers
United Autoworkers

Partner Organizations: 

AFL-CIO 'When the Paycheck Stops' resource guide 
Council for Safety and Health 
Indiana State Building Trades Membership Recommendations 
Union Plus COVID-19 benefits 
United Way Coronavirus Relief Fund
SAMHSA Tips for Social Distancing 
SAMHSA Tips for Talking with Children 
Labor Movement Relief Fund
NABTU: COVID-19 Resources 

Additional Resources: 

How to Run Digital Meetings
Here's how to protect yourself, according to the CDC
Here's what to do if you get sick, according to the CDC
Indiana State-At-Home Order FAQ
2020 Census for workers

The Indiana State Department of Health hotline from 8AM-8PM is:
(317) 233-7125 and after 8PM: (317) 233-1325