There have been a few changes that have gone into effect in Columbus for the overall unemployment system. Critics have said that this legislation reduces benefits and eliminates some for others. Kristen Seifert has said that these changes have had a huge effect on workers and is going to be devastating to them. She is an attorney who works in employment law.
The name of this is the House bill 394. She has said that one of the provisions in the law is unfair. She says "This provision would disqualify employees from receiving benefits if they are discharged for violations such as returning one minute late from break, wearing the wrong color shirt, or parking in the wrong parking spot. The possibilities are endless."
On the other hand one of the bill's main sponsors says that this language is intended to defend employees and not the other way around. Senator Barbara Sears said it allows the employers to let employees make things work.
Other criticism came from representative Jack Cera who said "It strikes me as odd we would penalize people who have worked for years and years and paid into the system."
Details of the Change
Part of the bill called for a reduction in the amount of weeks laid off employees could receive. It went from 26 weeks all the way down to between 12 and 20. At this current rate they would receive no more than 12 weeks for benefits. This is why a lot of people are getting upset over these perceived changes.
Another analyst saw that the compensation fund would reduce taxes by $313 million in between 2018 and 2025. During this time benefits for workers would decrease by $475 million per year. During a longer time of unemployment there is concern for how these employees will fare without a jobs to back them. Luckily, there are loans on car titles in the Columbus area that will can supply these workers with cash while they are off of work.
Ohio representative Andy Thompson said "I think the objective of the bill is to bring some stability to the unemployment system. The bill that's been proposed right now is really not yet where I think it needs to be; I think there's more work that needs to be done. We as a caucus on our side of the isle have not had a chance yet to really come together and offer input so I expect we will be doing that over the next couple of weeks."
Future of the Plan
Supporters of the bill right now have had no plans to get rid of the deal. It will most likely go through against other representatives concerns. There is a stipulation in the bill that would allow construction workers to get something out of this deal as well. The reason for this is because construction workers are at more of a risk for unemployment because of the long length of the winters in Ohio, so there is the possibility that this bill will do some good for these workers. The change that would be in effect would be for 20 weeks of unemployment just for the construction workers. This is a special hybrid system that would now be enacted.