Federal and state regulations require your employer to provide you with a safe workplace. If you do not return to work because your workplace is not safe for you, you may continue to be eligible for unemployment benefits. The North Carolina Division of Employment Services (DES) says you may be eligible to continue receiving unemployment benefits if you fall into one of these categories:

  1. You have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19 and a medical professional has advised you not to go to work.
  2. A member of your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or you are providing care for a family member or a member of your household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  3. You are at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
  4. You are the primary caregiver of a child or person in your household whose school or care facility is closed because of COVID-19, and this prevents you from working.
  5. You can’t reach your place of employment because of a COVID-19quarantine or you have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine.
  6. You can’t return to work because of a governmental order regarding travel, business operations, or mass gatherings.
  7. You reasonably believe there is a valid degree of risk to your health and safety due to a significant risk of exposure or infection to COVID-19 at your work because your employer is not complying with government or industry guidelines, or because the workplace is not safe for you to return to work.

The form below helps employees who cannot return to work because of one of the reasons listed above related to COVID-19. The form is not legal advice. If you are experiencing any of the situations listed above, you may fill in this form and provide it to your employer.

This is intended to provide accurate, general information regarding legal rights relating to employment in North Carolina. However, this fact sheet does not address exemptions and does not go into detail regarding legal rights. In addition, laws and legal procedures are subject to frequent change and differing interpretations, and the North Carolina Justice Center cannot ensure the information in this sheet is current nor be responsible for any use to which it is put. Do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney or the appropriate agency about your rights in your particular situation.