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This article covers the new Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) rules for unemployment benefits for both Employers and Employees in effect as of March 16, 2020.


On March 16, the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced new requirements for employers filing partial unemployment claims. Under Emergency Rule 300-2-4-0.5, containing Rule 300-2-4-.09(1), Employers are required to file partial claims on behalf of their employees whenever it is necessary to temporarily reduce work hours or there is no work available for a short period. The new rules provide:

All partial claims must be filed by employers online in the Employer Portal;

All employers must file partial claims with respect to any week during which an employee (full-time/part-time) works less than full-time due to a partial or total company shutdown caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency; and

Any employer found to be in violation must pay to the Commissioner the full amount of benefits paid to the employee.

Employees Excluded From This Rule

There are several circumstances in which employers should not file a partial claim, including where employees:

  • Will be paid for the temporary layoff period (e.g., paid salary, paid sick leave, paid vacation or paid family leave);
  • Are/were on scheduled leave prior to the layoff period (e.g., a leave of absence or medical leave);
  • Are employed by a temporary agency and are currently working at your place of business;
  • Were employed in another state in the last 18 months (employees should be directed to apply for unemployment benefits online); and
  • Were employed with the federal government or on active military service in the last 18 months (employees should be directed to apply for unemployment benefits online).

Additional Guidance For Employers

Be sure to accurately report the employee’s name, social security number, and date of birth to match the Social Security Administration’s records.

There must be seven days between payment week ending dates.

Do not submit claims until after the week end date on the claim.

Report vacation pay, holiday pay, earnings, during the week it was earned, not paid.

Be sure to report any additional income employees are receiving to the GDOL, except Social Security benefits and pay for weekend military reserve duty.


The Georgia Department of Labor has updated the way that people can file for unemployment in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The agency has temporarily suspended in-person requirements for services provided by the department. The agency will now allow people to file for unemployment online. In order to file a claim, you will need your Social Security number, your driver’s license if you have one, your bank’s routing number and account number and your work information history for the last 18 months.

Be advised that as of March 18, all GDOL Career Centers are closed to the public and will be providing online access for unemployment services and other reemployment services. Employees for whom employers file a partial claim are not required to report to a GDOL career center, register for employment services, or look for other work.


  1. Employers not already registered must register online on the GDOL Employer Portal.
  2. Once registered, employers can perform the following steps to file partial claims:
  3. Log into the Employer Portal.
  4. Select the employer account number under your Registered Account.
  5. Select the File Partial Claims link under Common Links.
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions. For step-by-step registration instructions, there is an Administrator
  7. Guide available for download on the Employer Portal page.

Should you have any questions regarding this new rule, please contact one of our attorneys at 404-844-4130.

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