The Guam Department of Labor warned that refusing work in order to collect unemployment benefits is considered fraud by the federal government. This includes calling in sick in order to qualify for unemployment at reduced hours.
“As island businesses slowly open up, it has been brought to my attention that some employers are struggling with their workers calling in sick once a week so that they can claim reduced hours on their unemployment applications. This is a type of fraud and could disqualify individuals from receiving assistance,” said Department of Labor Director David Dell’Isola.
Dell' Isola urged employers to first talk with their employees and warn them of the consequences if they suspect them of calling in sick just to claim unemployment.
"Let them know their actions can cause their whole claim to be ineligible for payment,” Dell’Isola added.
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, Guam Del. MichaelSan Nicolas and Director Dell’Isola worked diligently to get individuals on reduced hours, as a direct result of Covid=-19, qualified for pandemic unemployment benefits.
The governor and the director worked with the US Department of Labor to assist the underemployed as well as the unemployed. These benefits however are not to be taken advantage of.
Currently, the agency is working to implement the third phase of unemployment benefits that extends PUA and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation from March to September 2021.
“As we move toward recovery, keep long-term goals in mind. Prepare for the job market to open up and look into training opportunities and start applying for jobs. It’s better to get an early jump than to wait for the floodgates to open when the program ends in September," Dell'Isoal said.
He encouraged residents to visit hireguam.com, a free job bank to search for opportunities, or contact career services specialists at the American Job Center.
"The department is always here to help,” Dell’Isola said.