Unemployment Insurance Program

Congress should mandate that states provide UI to PT workers

Description :

All workers need support when they are thrown out of a job through no fault of their own. Yet many states have rules that block part-time, underpaid, seasonal, and temporary workers from being eligible for unemployment benefits when they are laid off. For example, some states have rules that require workers to have been paid a certain level of wages over a short period of time; rules obligating workers to be seeking full-time employment while receiving UI; limits on the reasons a worker can leave a job and still receive UI; and loopholes that deny UI benefits for workers affiliated with staffing agencies, among others. Due to historical inequity and ongoing systemic discrimination, people of color are more likely than white workers, and women are more likely than men, to be in these underpaid and temporary jobs. Workers of color are also more likely to be working part-time but want full-time hours. To fix this problem, federal standards should require that part-time workers in all states remain eligible for benefits when searching for part-time work. In addition, workers who separate from full-time work but need to start working part-time because of a major life event (such as the birth of a child or the illness/ injury of a dependent) should be eligible for UI benefits if they make a good faith effort to find work that is suitable for them given their caregiving responsibilities.

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Idea No. 202