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March 18, 2020 - 1 p.m.: In an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19, the Executive Order by the Governor on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 limited sit-down eating opportunities in restaurants, but it included easier and earlier processing of unemployment benefits.

The summary is:

"This Order will directly aid workers who may have lost wages in restaurants and meeting places due to mass gathering restrictions. For example, workers who lose income due to tips or scheduled work hours, but are still employed, would be eligible for benefits because of this Executive Order. Among other changes:

It removes the one-week waiting period to apply for unemployment payment for those workers who lose their jobs;
It removes the requirement that a person must be actively looking for another job during this time when many potential employers are closed and social distancing guidelines are in effect.
It allows employees who lose their jobs or, in certain cases have their hours reduced due to Covid-19 to apply for unemployment benefits.
It directs that employers will not be held responsible for benefits paid as a direct result of these COVID-19 claims.
It waives the requirement that people must apply for benefits in person; workers can apply for benefits online or by phone."

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