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Unemployment Insurance eligibility for volunteer separation in Tri-State Escalante Power Plant layoff

For Immediate Release
February 11, 2020

Contact: Stacy Johnston
Acting Public Information Officer


Unemployment Insurance eligibility for volunteer separation in
Tri-State Escalante Power Plant layoff

(Albuquerque, NM) – The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS) has determined based on a review of information gathered, and in conjunction with the applicable statutes and regulations, employees who volunteer to participate in the layoff at the Tri-State Escalante Power Plant will be eligible for Unemployment Insurance compensation benefits.

The Unemployment Insurance program pays benefits to people who are out of work through no fault of their own and who meet certain qualifications. Generally, if an employee leaves work voluntarily, they are not considered eligible for unemployment compensation.

The department may waive that rule when several factors are provided. First, there must be a definite layoff date announced to employees. Second, it must be considered whether the employer retains control over who can participate in the layoff program and who is separated.

Escalante announced their definite intent to lay off employees on March 12, 2020.  Under these circumstances, the employees participating in the layoff program are not separating voluntarily as the layoff is inevitable.    

​"Governor Lujan Grisham's Administration is going to do everything in our power to help the workers affected by this closure," Said NMDWS Cabinet Secretary Bill McCamley. "That means workers looking for a new job should have access to this important safety net as they transition."

Any individual receiving a pension at the time they file for benefits will receive a monetary determination regarding their pension which may reduce their unemployment insurance benefits.

All individuals who are determined eligible for benefits will be required to complete a work search each week they claim unemployment benefits and all other eligibility requirements must be met.

Additional information about the Unemployment Insurance Program, the Unemployment Insurance Tax & Claims System, and the Department of Workforce Solutions is available on our website at www.dws.state.nm.us.



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