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Restaurant Employee Rights: Can I File for Unemployment Benefits If My Hours Were Cut Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak?

In an effort to address the fast-spreading COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, state officials have taken emergency action. Among other things, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has ordered all bars and restaurants to go exclusively to delivery and take-out services. While this has allowed some establishments to remain open during the public health crisis, most restaurants in the state have cut employees—some dramatically so. 

If you are a restaurant worker in Connecticut, the COVID-19 outbreak may already be causing you and your family serious financial strain. Please know that you can still file for unemployment benefits even if you are now working part-time hours. Here, our Hartford employee rights lawyers explain the most important things restaurant workers need to know about unemployment benefits and reduced hours. 

Unemployment Benefits and Reduced Hours in Connecticut

Eligibility for unemployment benefits is not always straightforward. As described by the Connecticut Department of Labor, employees can still apply for unemployment benefits even if they are still working on a part-time basis. In other words, if the restaurant significantly cut back on your hours because of the coronavirus or any related restrictions, you can apply for unemployment benefits to help fill the gap in your wages.

For part-time employees, their unemployment benefits will be adjusted in accordance with their earnings. To be sure, two-thirds of your part-time earnings will be deducted from your unemployment compensation. As an example, if you make $198 per week while working part-time hours, your unemployment benefits would be reduced by two-thirds of that amount ($132). Of course, similar to other employees, part-time workers must satisfy certain legal requirements in order to keep receiving their benefits. 

How Our Restaurant Employee Rights Attorneys Can Help Secure Your Benefits

Navigating the unemployment claims process can be challenging—especially for part-time workers who have had their hours substantially reduced. Unfortunately, some employers make the process far more difficult than it needs to be. They may even try to appeal an employee’s successful claim. At Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, LLC, we are proud to be strong employee advocates. With extensive experience representing restaurant workers, our Hartford restaurant rights lawyers are prepared to: 

  • Conduct a comprehensive assessment of your unemployment claim; 
  • Answer your questions and explain your options; and
  • Take the necessary legal action to help you maximize your benefits. 

Ultimately, these claims must be handled on a case-by-case basis. If you are a restaurant employee who is currently working part-time hours and your claim for unemployment coverage has been denied, we can help.  

Contact Our Hartford, CT Restaurant Employee Right Lawyers for Immediate Assistance

At Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, LLC, our Connecticut employee rights attorneys have extensive experience representing restaurant workers. If you have questions about COVID-19 and unemployment compensation, we can help. To get a confidential consultation, please contact our legal team at (860) 522-8888. With an office in Hartford, we represent restaurant employees in Manchester, Middletown, New Britain, Windsor Locks, and Bristol.