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Biden’s order allows people who leave work where they thought they could catch a coronavirus to collect unemployment

Continuing the wave of enforcement action, President Biden signed an order Friday calling on the Department of Labor to allow workers to collect unemployment benefits if they leave a job they fear puts them at risk for COVID-19.

Citing a Gallup poll showing that 43% of Americans live in a household with at least one pre-existing condition, the White House said in a statement: “The president wants the Department of Labor to consider clarifying that workers have a federal guarantee. to refuse a job that will endanger their health and if they do, they will still qualify for unemployment insurance. “

Usually workers can collect unemployment only if they are laid off or fired in some cases. In certain cases, workers who leave their jobs for a “good reason”

; may collect benefits. Good reasons include dangerous working conditions, discrimination in the workplace, harassment, lack of pay or a change in work obligations.

As part of Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief proposal, federal unemployment will be increased for unemployed Americans to $ 400 a week, compared to a $ 300 a week boost approved by lawmakers in December.


Over time, Biden will eliminate higher unemployment benefits based on health and economic conditions – in an effort to avoid the so-called “fiscal scale” that could deal a severe blow to American families relying on aid. It will extend income support, which is due to end in March, for about six months until September 2021.

An additional 900,000 Americans applied for unemployment benefits for the first time last week.


This number is almost four times higher than before the crisis, but well below the peak of almost 7 million reached when the first home warrants were issued in March. During the pandemic, nearly 70 million Americans, or about 40 percent of the workforce, applied for unemployment benefits.

The number of people who continue to receive unemployment benefits has fallen to 5.054 million, down about 127,000 from the previous week.

Other Americans receive unemployment benefits from two federal programs established by Congress with the passage of the Care Act in March: one provides assistance to the self-employed, concert workers, and others who are not normally eligible for benefits, and the other provides assistance to those who have exhausted their state aid.

Megan Henny of FOX Business contributed to this report.

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