• Stephen Warneke

How To Get Your Money: New Unemployment Benefits For You

The CARES Act and What It Means About Your Unemployment Benefits



Attorney Cathleen Scott, the managing partner of the national boutique labor and employment law firm, Scott Wagner & Associates, joined South Florida's Detective of the Air, Steve Warneke, to discuss the new sick leave laws during the COVID-19 pandemic. Scott Wagner Law is a litigation firm with a strong emphasis on protecting employee rights and helping employers comply with employment laws. Ms. Scott is board certified in labor and employment law, practicing over 20 years.


How the CARES Act affects YOU: Relaxed Standards for Eligibility


  1. Unemployment checks used to max out at $275 a week. The government is now giving out up to $875 a week.

  2. The requirement that you need to be actively looking for work has been waived in light of the pandemic.

  3. The two-weeks waiting period has been abandoned for the time being.

  4. Even independent contractors are eligible. Apply online now at http://www.floridajobs.org.


Ms. Scott was also able to offer some valuable insight on the delicate tightrope between businesses and their employees. While unemployment pay rates might be more advantageous for the employees, there is also the option of paid sick leave if you or a family member has been exposed and you need to stay home. Employees can receive up to 80 hours of paid sick leave. And if businesses are able to retain 90% of their workforce, their loan is forgiven. Ms. Scott also emphasized that "The government is footing the bill" and that everyone should be looking into their options.


Ms. Scott also answered the most commonly asked question today:

"What do I do if I don't feel safe going into work because my company is an essential business like Amazon or a grocery store, and they're not offering me any type of protective equipment... Can I just not go to work and collect unemployment compensation?"

The answer: Yes.


Ms. Scott clarified the reasons for staying home:


  • A family member you need to take care of, i.e. a child since schools are closed.

  • If you subject yourself to self-isolation if you've been exposed.

  • If you subject yourself to self-quarantine because you have symptoms or are seeking medial attention.


If you need the advice of an attorney or have further questions, head to https://www.floridalaborlawyer.com/ or follow Scott Wagner & Associates on Facebook for their daily 12:30pm EST live broadcasts on Facebook!

The Steve Warneke Show is LIVE SATURDAYS at 10AM EST to 850 WFTL on your South Florida AM dial or you can stream live during the show at www.850wftl.com.


If you haven't already, or need more information, listen to the recorded show HERE! or watch the show on Facebook!


IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION YOU WANT ANSWERED, A PROBLEM YOU WANT US TO INVESTIGATE, OR A COMPLAINT TO SHARE WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS, TELL US HERE AND WE'RE ON THE CASE!


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Until next time...