Frequently Asked Questions

What benefits are available if I'm out of work due to COVID-19?

In short, it depends on your working situation. Check out our How To Get Paid During Quarentine guide and see what option would work best for you!

If my employer is closed to the public, can I still go to work if required by my employer?

While the Executive Order prohibits the public from congregating at a closed business, employers may still have work to do on site. If employees are not conducting business that is prohibited by the Executive Order, and maintaining physical distancing, it is okay to still be at the worksite. No “passes” or paperwork is required.​

If I am forced to remain in my home, either because I'm sick or under quarantine, will I be eligible for unemployment benefits?

If you are sick for more than half the week or under quarantine, you would not be able and available to work. This is part of the requirements for Unemploymeny Benefits eligibility. Please check out our How to Get Paid During Quarentine guide for more ways to get some extra support.

Can I get Unemployment Benefits if I am unemployed and I am sick or quarantined with COVID-19?

If you are sick due to the coronavirus, you are likely not able and available to work, which would mean you cannot receive unemployment insurance benefits. Being able to work means that you are physically and mentally able to do the work you are looking for or usually do, unless:

  • You were sick or injured for less than half of the week; or
  • You have a long-term condition preventing you from working, but you can still do some work.

If you had an opportunity to work, but did not because you were sick, you likely cannot receive unemployment insurance benefits for that week but may be eligible for benefits for other weeks.

Check out our How to Get Paid During Quanretine guide to see other ways of getting financial help.

What if I have COVID-19, and I got it at my workplace?

Contract tracing can be tricky, but if you have undeniable proof try contacting the Workers’ Compensation Division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services for information on filing a workers’ compensation claim related to coronavirus. They can also be contacted at 800-452-0288 or ​

Can I get Unemployment Benefits if my employer remains open, but I don't want to come to work because of the risk of exposure to COVID-19?

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Will my employer tell me if someone I work with comes down with COVID-19?

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enacted a rule that began Nov. 11 stating employers must notify affected employees of a work-related COVID-19 infection within 24 hours. That said, privacy laws will prevent your employer from sharing any specific medical information of another employee.​

Can I take sick leave if I, or someone in my family, has COVID-19?

According to the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries (BOLI): you are able to use available sick time to care for yourself or your family member who have already been diagnosed with COVID-19, or may still need medical diagnosis, care, or treatment pertaining to COVID-19.

Do I have to look for other work if my employer temporarily closes because of COVID-19?

If your employer expects the closure to be four weeks or less, you do not actively have to look for another job to receive Unemployment Benefits. To get Unemployment Benefits, you must:

  • Be able to work;
  • Stay in contact with your employer; and
  • Be available to work when your employer calls you back to work. ​
What can I do if my workplace temporarily closes because of COVID-19?

Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits may be available to those who are on a temporary layoff. These benefits occur for claimants whose employer stops operation for a short period of time, such as cleaning following a coronavirus exposure. In these cases, employees expect to be back to work in four weeks or less. Workers can get UI benefits, and do not need to seek work with other employers. They must be able to work, stay in contact with you as their employer, and be available to work when called back. ​You can also check out our How to Get Paid During Quarentine guide for more information.

What if I'm allowed to work from home, but I don't want to work offsite?

Generally, you will not be eligible for unemployment benefits. Check out our How to Get Paid During Quarentine guide to see other ways to get financial help.

Can I take vacation or other leave pay while my employer is closed?

Yes. Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries (BOLI) say that you are able to exhaust all vacation or sick time if your employer closed beacuse of COVID-19.

What if my employer goes out of business as a result of COVID-19?

Generally, you will be eligible for unemployment benefits. To find out if you are eligible, file an initial claim. The Unemployment Department will gather information from you and your employer about your circumstances to determine your eligibility. ​

Can I get Unemployment Benefits if I become seriously ill with COVID-19 and I must quit my job?

You will generally not be eligible for unemployment benefits if you quit your job. 

How can I cope with the anxiety and fear while working during a pandemic?

  • Make a daily schedule and include time for exercise, take a break from television and the news, read a book, play with the kids, or doing an activity you’ve been putting off.
  • Write a real letter on paper or a postcard and mail it to someone. ​​
  • Start gardening. Oregon allows up to four cannabis plants in your home, check out Leafly for some tips
  • Try out the latest smoking challenge or two. Visit YouTube for inspiration.
  • Go for a walk in your neighborhood. Notice how many different trees are growing near your home, how many new plants spring up. 
  • Learn a new card game or pull out that old Monopoly board.
  • Above all, be kind, calm, and compassionate – with your family, your friends and with yourself. 
Cannabis Workers Coalition


Cannabis Workers Coalition d/b/a Joint Workers Coalition is a 501(c)4 non-profit
EIN: 85-1342386
Donations are not tax deductible.