The $2 trillion economic relief bill for workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic was intended to expand unemployment benefits for freelancers, “gig” workers and independent contractors — people who are typically excluded from applying for jobless aid.  But the rules released last weekend leave many workers out in the cold, according to several left-leaning employment experts. The Labor Department’s guidance for independent workers potentially excludes gig workers as long as they are able to log into their apps, as well as older workers whose age puts them at greater risk for COVID-19 and who stay home out of concern for their health. It also cuts off benefits for workers caring for children once the school year ends.”[T]he rules released Sunday night are criminally narrow and will greatly undermine the effectiveness of the system,” said Andrew Stettner, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation. The Labor Department’s guidance lists 10 situations in which a freelancer or gig worker can apply for unemployment, including being diagnosed with COVID-19, caring for a household member with the disease, having their place of employment closed because of the virus, and being unable to get to their job because of a quarantine order or public advice to


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