5/8/20: Staff Memo

CAUTION: Beware of unemployment fraud!

Hi Toothers – We know there are a lot of questions and confusion about how unemployment and the CARES Act payments work. The long and the short of it is that if we have work offered to you and you refuse the work so that you can collect unemployment, or if you ask to be laid off or work reduced hours so that you can collect unemployment, you may be unintentionally committing fraud. Please reach out to your manager or Lisa/HR 264-9163 if you have any questions OR call Alaska Unemployment.

Here is some verbiage from the Alaska Department of Labor that provides additional clarification:
The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development takes fraudulent activities to collect unemployment insurance benefits seriously. The CARES Act expressly states that if an individual obtains benefits through fraud, the individual is ineligible for any additional benefit payments, must repay the benefits, and is subject to criminal prosecution. The Department will vigorously pursue all fraudulent activities to the fullest extent of the law.

If an individual refuses an offer of work because unemployment insurance pays more than their weekly wage, is asking to be laid off, or requests to have their hours reduced so they can collect UI benefits, they may be committing fraud.