DLI assists Montanans returning to work as state economy begins phased reopening

  • — April 24 2020

The Montana Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) is supporting Montanans returning to work, job-seekers, and those looking for career training opportunities as Montana moves into a gradual and phased reopening, recently announced by Governor Steve Bullock.

“We’re here to support Montana workers and our state’s business community by connecting employees and employers,” Acting Commissioner Brenda Nordlund said. “Our new normal is going to look different. That’s why we’re helping our state’s businesses and workers get back on their feet, while also promoting workplace safety to ensure the health of our communities.”

On Wednesday, April 22, Governor Bullock released a Directive and accompanying appendix with guidelines for certain industries. The plan to reopen was based on the latest scientific evidence and data and was crafted in consultation with public health experts, health care providers, business leaders, and emergency management professionals.

Resources for job seekers and businesses:

DLI is providing daily updates for Montana employers and individuals impacted by COVID-19 at dli.mt.gov/covid-19. A variety of related information is available to help Montanans return to work including:

  • Frequently asked questions on how returning to work may affect Unemployment Insurance benefits
  • Workplace safety tips and guidelines for COVID-19
  • Workers’ compensation information
  • Occupational licensing information
  • Recorded town hall events for employers

In addition, Job Service Montana offices across the state can help job seekers look for work and provide resources for businesses as they begin the transition to reopening within their local communities. Job Service workforce development centers collaborate with community partners to provide customer-focused employment and training opportunities, and services to businesses seeking employees and other assistance.

Job Service resources for businesses and job-seekers are available by phone, email, or online at MontanaWorks.gov. For a list of all Job Service offices across the state and their contact information, visit montanaworks.gov/job-service-montana.

DLI also offers a variety of Labor Market, career information and work-based learning resources at MontanaWorks.gov. Montanans can search for jobs, learn about apprenticeship programs, professional licensing and more.

How the phased reopening impacts Unemployment Insurance (UI ):

Under the April 22 Directive, employers must follow guidelines and make accommodations for vulnerable individuals or those with vulnerable individuals living in their household. If an employer follows these guidelines and makes proper accommodations, an employee may lose eligibility for UI if they fail to return to work. However, if an employer does not follow the guidelines or reasonably address the needs of members of a vulnerable population, those individuals may continue to be eligible for UI.

Local public health officials have the authority to ensure the health and safety of the public. Employees can contact their local public health officials if they have questions, or if they believe their employer is violating social distancing directives.

DLI continues to encourage anyone who believes they may be eligible for UI to file a claim online at MontanaWorks.gov, or at mtpua.mt.gov for those that fall under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance eligibility guidelines.

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