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Return to Work

Employee Work Refusal Form

If a Tennessee employer has an employee who refuses to return to work, and the employees does not meet specific CARES Act qualifications, the employer can notify the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development by filling out the form found in the tab below.

FAQ Employers Recall

Are employees required to return to work if called back?

Yes, unless they meet a qualified exception.

How do I report an employee who refused recall back to employment?   

You may submit your information at https://lwdsupport.tn.gov/hc/en-us/requests/new?ticket_form_id=360003403833. Please answer all questions. It will also be helpful to provide any documentation you have to confirm the employee was notified of the need to report to work or refused to report to work.

Am I required to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to my employees?

Businesses should follow guidance issued by the CDC, Tennessee Department of Health, and any applicable federal or regulatory requirements. In addition to these general guidelines for all Tennessee employers and employees, each employer and employee should refer to their industry-specific guidance as set forth in the Tennessee Pledge.  The Tennessee Pledge can be found at https://www.tn.gov/governor/covid-19/economic-recovery/tennessee-pledge.html.

Is an employee required to return to work if they are under quarantine by a physician or governmental official? 

No, at this time the employee must comply with the quarantine orders.   The employees should supply documentation to you covering the dates of the quarantine.    

Do I have to recall the employee to the same position, same rate of pay, and the same schedule? 

It would be best if the employee was recalled in the same capacity as previous employment.   If that is not possible, we will investigate the employee’s failure to return to work and issue a determination based on TN employment security law.  

What documentation should be provided to the agency to show contact was made for the recall of an employee.  

We will need verification that you communicated the need to report to work back to you employee. This verification may include, but is not limited to, an e-mail, certified letter with proof of delivery, a voice mail recording, or phone record of the call to the employee’s most current contact information.   

Will the agency let me know the outcome of the refusal of return to work issue?  

The agency will issue a written determination that will be delivered to your preferred method of communication.   

What are my options if I disagree with that determination?

You will have fifteen (15) calendar days from the mail date of the issued decision to file an appeal.  You may file an appeal online via jobs4tn.gov, by email at at.newappeals@tn.gov , facsimile at 615-741-8933, or you can mail your appeal to:

TDLWD

Attention: Appeals Tribunal

220 French Landing Dr.

Nashville, TN 37243


FAQ Claimants

If my employer calls me back to work do I have to return? 

Yes, unless you meet a qualified exception.

How will TDLWD be made aware of my failure to report back to work when recalled by my employer?

You will be asked to report any offers of work you received during the week during certification. Additionally, your employer may also report a failure to return to work.

What is considered a qualifying exception to the requirement to return to work?

Unless you meet a qualifying exception, refusing to return to work is a disqualifying circumstance for receiving unemployment compensation benefits. Overpayments that are deemed to be the result of fraud, will also incur penalties and interest, as well as potential for criminal prosecution.

Exceptions will be similar to the eligibility requirements for Pandemic Unemployment Compensation. Each exception will require individual investigation; decisions will be issued on a case-by-case basis.

The following are the COVID-19 eligibility requirements to receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance provided through the federal CARES Act.

·         Are diagnosed with COVID-19 or have COVID-19 symptoms and are seeking diagnosis; fill out the Medical Statement form here

·         Have a member of the household who is diagnosed with COVID-19;

·         Are providing care for a family or household member diagnosed with COVID-19;

·         Are the primary caregiver for a child whose school or care facility closed, due to COVID-19;

·         Are unable to reach their place of employment due to an imposed quarantine, or because advised by a medical provider to self-quarantine, due to COVID-19;

·         Were scheduled to start new employment and cannot reach the workplace as a direct result of COVID-19;

·         Became the major breadwinner because the head of household died from COVID-19;

·         Quit their job as a direct result of COVID-19;

·         Had their place of employment closed as a direct result of COVID-19; or

·         Meet any additional criteria specified by U.S. Secretary of Labor

Is my employer required to provide me with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Businesses should follow guidance issued by the CDC, Tennessee Department of Health, and any applicable federal or regulatory requirements. In addition to these general guidelines for all Tennessee employers and employees, each employer and employee should refer to their industry-specific guidance as set forth in the Tennessee Pledge.  The Tennessee Pledge can be found at https://www.tn.gov/governor/covid-19/economic-recovery/tennessee-pledge.html.

Am I required to return to work if my child is out of school due to COVID-19?

If you are unable to return to work due to your child being out of school due to COVID-19, you may be permitted to remain out of work for a limited time, and still collect UI benefits. Based on guidance provided by the US Department of Labor this exception will only apply until the date the school year was scheduled to end prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have other reliable child care options you may not be eligible for this exception. These cases will be investigated and decisions will be issued on a case-by-case basis.

Am I required to return to work if my child care facility reopens after being closed due to COVID-19?

Yes. If you have access to reliable child care this will not qualify as an exception for refusing to return to work. Failure to return to work for this reason could result in a loss of UI benefits. Additionally, any benefits you received after the employer extended an offer for you to return to work after regaining access to child care could result in an overpayment of benefits.

If I don’t return will my unemployment benefits be stopped?

Unless you meet a qualifying exception, refusing to return to work is a disqualifying circumstance for receiving unemployment compensation benefits. It may also result in an overpayment of benefits, which must be repaid to the agency. Overpayments that are deemed to be the result of fraud, will also incur penalties and interests, as well as the potential for criminal prosecution.

If I don’t return and continue to draw benefits will I have to repay any benefits after the recall date? 

Unless you meet a qualifying exception, and it is determined you should have returned to your employer any benefits paid to you after that date will be considered overpaid, and could be potentially determined as a fraud.  An overpayment resulting from fraud will result in penalties and interest being assessed to the balance; additionally, you may face criminal prosecution.

If I am on orders to quarantine by a medical professional or governmental agency do I need to return to my employer? Do I need to provide documentation to my employer and the agency?

You will not need to return to your employer until released by your physician or the governmental entity. However, you must supply your employer and TDLWD with documentation to support your quarantine.  

Will the agency let me know the outcome of the refusal of return to work issue?  

The agency will issue a written determination that will be delivered to your preferred method of communication.   

What are my options if I disagree with that determination?

You will have fifteen (15) calendar days from the mail date of the issued decision to file an appeal.  You may file an appeal online via jobs4tn.gov, by email at at.newappeals@tn.gov , facsimile at 615-741-8933, or you can mail your appeal to:

TDLWD

Attention: Appeals Tribunal

220 French Landing Dr.

Nashville, TN 37243