Executive Order 118 Closes Restaurants and Changes NC Unemployment Insurance Requirements

Executive Order 118 – Issued March 17, 2020

  • Bars / Restaurants throughout North Carolina are to be closed to sit down service and will be limited to takeout or delivery only – Effective 5:00 pm, Tuesday, March 17, 2020 through March 31, 2020.
  • Unemployment Insurance – Among other provisions, the order makes the following changes to the state’s unemployment insurance requirements:
    • Removes the current one-week waiting period for applying for unemployment insurance benefits.
    • Removes the requirement that unemployment insurance benefits recipients look for another job while receiving benefits.
    • Department of Commerce is directed NOT to allocate charges to employers’ accounts for individuals who are paid benefits for reasons related to COVID-19.  Rather, the state will seek reimbursement from the federal government.
    • Department of Commerce is ordered to postpone all mandatory in-person contact with individuals seeking unemployment benefits and to provide a reasonable means for the filing of initial claims and weekly certifications, including both telephone and internet access.
    • Provisions effective immediately and shall remain in effect until rescinded or superseded by another executive order.

Important Update – As a result of this order, NCADA has received questions from dealers regarding the details of the various provisions of Executive Order 118.  The North Carolina Division of Employment Security (“DES”) has added information to its website regarding important employee and employer details on Executive Order 118 – click here.  As noted in the DES guidance, it is important for employees to note COVID-19 on applications and for employers, when responding to requests for separation information, to indicate that the separation was due to COVID-19, if such assertions are accurate.  This will also be important for employers per the provisions of Executive Order 118 providing that COVID-19 related claims will not be charged against an employer’s account.