The Virginia Employment Commission is ordering employees who work at the agency’s headquarters in Henrico County to work from home after an employee tested positive for coronavirus.
About 350 employees of the agency who are assigned to the headquarters offices in the Brookfield Place building at 6606 W. Broad St. will be required to work from home, the agency said Tuesday.
Most of them had already been teleworking. The agency didn’t say how many people were working there before it temporarily closed the offices.
This is the fourth VEC employee to test positive for the coronavirus in the past three months, the agency said. After each case, the office was temporarily shut down and the office fully cleaned.
“The office will undergo a thorough cleaning tonight, and the agency will take appropriate steps to resume normal operations while continuing to encourage teleworking,” the VEC said.
Agency officials said operations will continue. The headquarters office primarily serves internal agency functions, including procurement, information technology, finance, accounting and leadership.
The VEC is responsible for handling unemployment insurance claims from the hundreds of thousands of Virginians who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic.
The VEC’s call centers and district offices are not affected and will continue to process unemployment insurance claims, hold administrative hearings and respond to customer inquiries.
“Only people who receive a paper check as their method of payment may see a slight delay,” the agency said. “This accounts for less than .0027% of claims processed.”
The agency has recently acquired laptop computers for employees who work in administrative departments to work from home.
“Our employees have been working long hours for countless days as a result of the hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ellen Marie Hess, commissioner of the VEC. “Most importantly, I want the people we serve to know that we understand how important it is to get their benefits as quickly as possible, and we remain dedicated to helping our fellow Virginians in this time of need.”