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Tens Of Thousands of Hoosiers Lose Work, As Governor Issues 'Stay-At-Home' Order

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Many workers deemed non-essential will find themselves out of jobs temporarily following Gov. Eric Holcomb’s directive to stay at home. In his address to the state on Monday, the governor says 54,000 Hoosiers already applied for unemployment benefits last week alone.

The order will shut down businesses that aren’t considered essential, leaving many without jobs starting Wednesday. The Department of Workforce Development is telling all workers finding themselves without a job to apply for unemployment insurance online.

For those still working, new federal laws mandate expanded paid sick and family leave, but exclude companies with 500 or more employees. The rules also allow small businesses to waive expanded family leave benefits .  

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Stephanie Hahn is an employment lawyer in Indianapolis. She says changes in federal and state laws around unemployment and paid leave will help some workers. But she says it’s a problem that there are caps on the time or money those new laws provide.

“I don’t think that these are enough in light of what we’re seeing with regards to the length of this pandemic,” she says.  

The governor’s office says that anyone who is asked to show up for work, but believes their job to be non-essential should talk with their employer.  

Contact Justin at or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.

This is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. However, we recommend checking the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Indiana State Department of Health for the most recent numbers of COVID-19 cases.

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