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BREAKING NEWS: MSN succeeds in getting PUA for workers with reduced hours; will be back paid as well

By Troy Torres

Congressman Michael San Nicolas returned to Washington, D.C. only hours ago and, already, he has great news for Guam.

He has successfully worked with the Biden Administration to have the U.S. Department of Labor clarify that workers with reduced hours are and have been qualified to receive pandemic unemployment assistance. Those who are qualified and have been denied the ability to apply the past few weeks by the Guam Department of Labor may apply (as soon as GDOL systems catch up); AND, they may receive the payments for the past several weeks as well.

In guidance issued February 25th, 2021 (below), the U.S. Department of Labor has clarified that reduced hours workers shall be eligible for PUA / FPUC and eligible for accumulated retroactive payments therefrom.

"The support of our Congressional colleagues and the prioritization of the Biden Administration to ensure policy implementation aligns with statute, has prevailed today," opened Congressman San Nicolas. "As we have repeatedly asserted this was not a problem with the law as so alleged, but a problem in interpretation, and we are grateful to the Biden Administration for providing clarity in the midst of confusion," Congressman San Nicolas continued. "We can now all rest easy that our reduced hours workers will continue to receive the support they need as they work however they can to contribute to the opening of our economy, and the needs of their families and loved ones. God Bless," Congressman San Nicolas concludes.

The original disqualification of workers with reduced hours from PUA began, when GDOL received guidance from U.S. DOL under the Trump Administration to not pay unemployment assistance to workers with reduced hours. Mr. San Nicolas vehemently opposed GDOL's decision to follow U.S. DOL's advice, stating no where in the federal law authorizing PUA does it state that workers with reduced hours would be excluded.

San Nicolas, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, and labor director David Dell Isola began cooperating in order to change the U.S. DOL guidance for Guam.

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