As part of Cowles & Thompson’s continuing effort to keep our clients informed during the Coronavirus pandemic, we wanted to address an issue that will affect many Texas employers.

Texas Workforce Commission Guidance

If you are forced to lay off or furlough employees because of the current pandemic, such employees will qualify to receive unemployment compensation, assuming they otherwise meet the general requirements. But employers’ accounts will not be subject to a chargeback.

The TWC UI (Texas Workforce Commission Unemployment Insurance Division) has sent guidance to all TWC staff indicating that the standard methodology will be to classify all Covid-19-related work separations as qualifying work separations due to a natural disaster that are not chargeable to the employer’s account (Benefits Help Message HM 04-20, “Tracking Claims Related to the Coronavirus Pandemic” – the relevant quote is, “When ruling on these cases, staff will select the decision, ‘Laid Off – Disaster Declared by Governor – Not Disqualified,’ and protect the employer’s account(s) from chargeback.”

The Texas Workforce Commission webpage on Unemployment Benefits Services includes links to Coronavius/COVID-19-related information for Employers and Job Seekers. 

Cowles Thompson will continue to provide client alerts on such developments as we become aware of them.

See our COVID-19 Quick Reference page for additional articles.


Avatar of Brian Farrington
Brian T. Farrington is a Shareholder and Section Head of the Cowles and Thompson Employment Law section. His practice consists of transactional work and litigation advising and representing management concerning employment law, and particularly in the areas of Fair Labor Standards Act and Equal Employment Opportunity laws. He consults with employers to assist them in compliance and to represent them in investigations by the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division. Brian also advises clients on compliance with state wage and hour laws and represents them in investigations by state Departments of Labor. He also advises on matters related to Texas Workforce Commission unemployment eligibility, government contracts labor standards (Davis Bacon Act, Service Contract Act), OSHA 11(c), and state wage payment laws. Brian has represented clients in litigation under the FLSA, Title VII, the ADEA, and the ADA. Prior to becoming an attorney, Brian spent 12 years working with the US Department of Labor Wage & Hour Division. He has served as an Expert Witness in FLSA employment matters, and is a trained employment-related mediator.