Thursday, 12 February 2009

US Workers Hard Done By!


As unemployment grows in the US more workers are contesting claims made against them of allegedly wrongdoing or quitting in a bid to not pay benefits.

It's hard enough to lose a job, but for a growing proportion of U.S. workers, the troubles really set in when they apply for unemployment benefits.

More than a quarter of people applying for such claims have their rights to the benefit challenged as employers increasingly act to block payouts to former workers.

The proportion of claims disputed by former employers and state agencies has reached record levels in recent years, according to the Labor Department numbers tallied by the Urban Institute.

Under state and federal laws, employees who are fired for misbehaviour or quit voluntarily are ineligible for unemployment compensation. When jobless claims are blocked, employers save money because their unemployment insurance rates are based on the amount of the benefits their workers collect.

As unemployment swells in the recession, many workers seem surprised to find their benefits challenged, their former bosses providing testimony against them.

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