CHEYENNE (WNE) — Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon signed an executive order Monday that will prevent large increases in Unemployment Insurance taxes for businesses that were directly impacted by the statewide health orders enacted to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The Department of Workforce Services is removing UI benefit charges from the UI policies for all contributory businesses in industries specifically named in the health orders, according to a news release from the governor's office. This will ensure those businesses do not experience significant UI tax rate increases as a result of employees’ UI claims due to the pandemic.

“We want to ensure that the steps we’ve taken throughout the year don’t significantly impact the Unemployment Insurance taxes of impacted businesses,” Gordon said in the release. “This important step will shield Wyoming businesses from sudden or substantial increases to their Unemployment Insurance rates during these challenging times.”

The executive order is effective retroactively from March 19, when the first statewide health order was issued, through Dec. 31. Gordon and DWS will continue to monitor Wyoming's unemployment condition and may extend the order beyond Dec. 31, if conditions warrant an extension.

All applicable UI benefit charges for the businesses in industries specified by the health orders will be non-charged automatically. UI Tax Rate notices will be mailed to all businesses by Dec. 31.

Businesses wishing to appeal their annual rates may do so by emailing kris.funk@wyo.gov or mailing an appeal to DWS, Attn. Kris Funk, 100 W. Midwest Ave., Casper, WY 82601. Appeals may also be faxed to 307-235-3278. The appeal should include documentation, such as orders from the health department requiring the business to close due to COVID-19.

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