Tuesday, March 26, 2013

House Democrats oppose efforts to create more obstacles for people seeking unemployment benefits

House Democrats oppose efforts to create more obstacles for people seeking unemployment benefits

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIXHouse Democrats today voted against a Republican effort to make it more difficult for people who need unemployment benefits to prove that they qualify for those benefits.

“We really should be finding more opportunities to create jobs, instead of spending time voting on legislation that will make it harder for unemployed people to get back on their feet,” Rep. Debbie McCune Davis, D-Phoenix (District 30), said.

The House of Representatives passed HB 2147. If this bill becomes law, former employees would have to prove to the Department of Economic Security they were laid off to be eligible for benefits. People are not eligible for unemployment benefits if they quit a job or are fired. Employers already have the right to contest a claim for unemployment benefits which makes HB 2147 unnecessary and unfair.

“How are people supposed to prove that they have been laid off? There is nothing that requires employers to provide any documentation to employees so that they can apply for unemployment benefits,” McCune Davis said. “This actually allows DES to take the employer’s word for the fact that an employee abandoned his or her job or was fired. It shifts the balance of power in favor of employers and burdens employees with demands that cannot be met easily. It is unfair treatment for working families.”

The bill passed, despite unanimous opposition from the House Democrats. Next it will go to the governor.


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