Iowa tells workers to return to jobs or lose their benefits

Iowa is warning laid off workers that they will lose their unemployment benefits if they refuse to return when their employer calls them back to work.

Gov. Kim Reynolds is moving to partially reopen 77 of the state’s 99 counties Friday, relaxing restrictions that were intended to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Restaurants, some bars, malls, fitness centers, and retail stores are expected to open their doors for the first time in weeks. The reopening comes as Iowa experiences one of the nation’s fastest growth rates in coronavirus cases.

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Iowa Workforce Development is warning that failing to return to work out of fear of catching the virus will be considered a voluntary quit, which disqualifies workers from receiving unemployment benefits.