As businesses reopen, employees faced with consequences of (not) returning
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At the Hair Queen on University Drive in Huntsville, customers strolled in on May 8, buying an assortment of hair and beauty products.

Asmar said he’ been able to bring 70 to 80 percent of his staff back on board, while the others are waiting it out.

“They chose to stay home, they chose to stay safe, and no one can blame them for that,” he said.

“If you or a member of your immediate family has been diagnosed with COVID and your having to care for them, that would be a valid exception for not going,” she said.

Without having been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine, an individual who does not go to work due to general concerns about exposure to COVID-19, and who does not meet any of the other COVID-related criteria for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), is not eligible for unemployment. The CARES Act provides for PUA benefits under 10 circumstances.

• The individual is providing care for a family member or a member of the individual’s household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19;

• The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because of a quarantine imposed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency;

• The individual was scheduled to commence employment and does not have a job or is unable to reach the job as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency;

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