Guidance for Jobseekers Impacted Due to COVID-19

Our Workforce1 Career Centers will be delivering services online and over the phone until further notice.


General Information

To reduce the spread of Coronavirus, please follow these guidelines:

  • If you are sick, STAY HOME.
  • If you have chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, a compromised immune system, chronic lung disease, and/or cancer, we are advising you to limit your exposure.
  • If you have no symptoms, continue to practice good hygiene and remain vigilant about your health.
  • Practice Social Distancing: Even if you feel well, stay at home as much as possible. In public, keep at least 6 feet distance from others. Avoid unnecessary appointments.
  • Wash Your Hands. Cover Your Cough: Cover your cough and sneezes. Use your elbow or a tissue. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Take Caution with New Yorkers At-Risk: Take special caution to avoid exposing the elderly and people with underlying health conditions. Avoid visiting those most at risk, call instead. Offer help with groceries and other goods.

Frequently Asked Questions

Select a topic, or press the enter key on a topic, to reveal its answer.

Can I access WF1CC services remotely?

By visiting the NYC Department of Small Business Services website, you can learn more about current employment and training opportunities. In order to access any of the services, you can begin the registration process online and apply for up to three (3) job opportunities without visiting a center.

My employer is cutting my hours and/or letting people go, how can I supplement my income?

You can visit the NYS Department of Labor website to learn more about how to file a claim to see if you are eligible for Unemployment Insurance and/or visit AccessNYC - an online public screening tool that you can use to determine the City, State, and Federal health and human service benefit programs for which you are potentially eligible to enroll.

FAQ for Pandemic Unemployment Benefits

If you work in fast food or retail, you may also be entitled to extra pay for schedule changes including reduced hours. For more information or to file a complaint contact the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection by calling 311.

What are the Key To NYC Vaccination Requirements for Businesses?

Starting August 17, people 12 and older will be required to show proof they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use by the FDA or WHO for:

  • Indoor dining
  • Indoor fitness
  • Indoor entertainment

This new requirement — called the Key to NYC — includes bars, fitness gyms, movie and stage theatres, museums, and other indoor venues. Staff at these locations are also required to be vaccinated. Learn more at nyc.gov/KeyToNYC.

I think my employer is discriminating against me based on my race/nationality, what can I do?

Hate and discrimination against anyone on the basis of their race, national origin, or other status is not tolerated in New York City. The NYC Commission on Human Rights, Mayor's Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes, and NYPD are monitoring and responding to reported hate and bias incidents resulting from fear and stigma related to COVID-19.

  • Call 911 if you are the victim of a hate crime or witness what you believe to be a hate crime. NYPD officers will not ask about the immigration status of anyone seeking help and language assistance is available.
  • Call 311 and say "human rights" to report harassment or discrimination in housing, at work, or in public places based on your race, national origin, immigration status, disability, or other protected classes under the NYC Human Rights Law.

My employer is not providing paid sick leave. What can I do?

Under the NYC Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law, employers with five or more employees who work more than 80 hours per calendar year in New York City must provide paid safe and sick leave to employees. Employers with fewer than five employees must provide unpaid safe and sick leave. Covered employees have the right to use safe and sick leave for the care and treatment of themselves or a family member.

For more information, please read the Paid Sick Leave FAQ or to file a complaint contact the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection by calling 311.

I work in a high-volume, service industry. How can I protect myself?

Continue to exercise basic precautions while going about your life: wash your hands, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. You can visit nyc.gov/coronavirus to see more information about best practices for good hygiene and for disinfecting workspaces. Ask your employer to provide any equipment or supplies needed to maintain proper hygiene in the workplace.

What resources are available to receive the latest updates?

Text COVID to 692-692 to receive SMS texts with the latest news and developments, and visit nyc.gov/coronavirus at any time for more information. (Text COVIDESP to 692-692 to receive updates via text message in Spanish.) If you have any questions on finding medical care, call 311. NYC will provide care regardless of immigration status or ability to pay.

I'm interested in one of SBS' workforce training programs, what is available?

For up-to-date information, please visit nyc.gov/accesstraining.

I am registered for a training program, has it been canceled?

We encourage you to contact your training provider. Additionally, updated program statuses are posted at nyc.gov/accesstraining.

What can I do to help decrease fear and discrimination related to novel coronavirus?

Stay informed, listen to public health messages from reliable sources like the NYC Department of Health or the CDC, and implement good personal and public health practices to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.

Avoid stigmatizing people who have recently traveled from any affected areas. There are a lot of things in social media and on the news that are not rooted in science and are offensive, demeaning, and racist.

Do I need to wear a face covering?

People who do not show symptoms may still be able to spread COVID-19. A face covering can help prevent you from spreading COVID-19 to other people, so you should wear one whenever you leave the home.

A face covering can include anything that covers your nose and mouth, including dust masks, scarves and bandanas. Do not use health care worker masks, as those must be preserved for people in the health care system.

When adopting policies related to face coverings and social distancing, bars and restaurants must offer reasonable accommodations to customers with disabilities and should follow the guidance of the NYC Commission on Human Rights for Public Accommodations Protections.

What if I am unable to make a mandatory appointment for unemployment insurance, cash benefits, etc. because I am feeling unwell and/or must take care of a family member that is unwell?

If the place that I work is temporarily closed or I'm working fewer hours, can I find a second job through Workforce1 and quit it when my hours at my first job increase?

WF1CC staff will screen and connect qualified candidates to employment opportunities that are a match for both the candidate and employer, however, employment offers and acceptances are left to the discretion of the employer and candidate.

Are employers hiring at this time?

Yes, open positions with other employers can be found here.

Is it safe to go on interviews right now?

If you plan to go to a one-on-one interview, please follow these guidelines:

  • If you are sick, STAY HOME.
  • If you have chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, a compromised immune system, chronic lung disease, and/or cancer, we are advising you to limit your exposure.
  • If you have no symptoms, it's ok to go but continue to practice good hygiene and remain vigilant about your health.

Read NYC Health's Guidance and Safety Tips here.

Stay informed, listen to public health messages from reliable sources like the NYC Health Department or the CDC, and implement prevention practices to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses such as covering your coughs and sneezes, washing hands regularly and avoiding touching your face.

I am not a U.S. citizen nor a lawful permanent resident. What resources are available to me?

If you do not have health insurance, you can visit a NYC Health + Hospitals facility. To find healthcare: visit NYC Health and Hospitals or call 311. Hospital staff will not ask about immigration status. Strict laws protect patient confidentiality.

For more information on benefits you may be eligible for, please visit the NYC Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs.

Additional Resources