Reopening Businesses

Help businesses compete with Unemployment benefit

It's nearly impossible for businesses to compete with unemployment pay in North Carolina. The maximum state benefit is $350/week, then claimants receive the additional federal benefit of $600/week. For a 40 hour week, that's a pay rate of $23.75 per hour.

As it currently stands, we have a part time employee who's eligible for a weekly benefit of $100, and is receiving weekly payments of $700.

With payouts like this, there's no incentive for employees to return to work when they're called upon.

To further complicate matters, the employer has no way of notifying the Department that they're trying to get the employee to return to work once they've responded to the initial claim to approve payment - it's basically considered approved until the claimant stops filing. That's an initial 13 weeks, with an additional 13 weeks for emergency approval. If the state extends these guidelines to match federal benefits, it's possible that claimants could collect for as much as 39 weeks.

FIRST, the federal benefit should, at a maximum, be limited to an amount that would 'make whole' a claimant's paycheck, up to a 40-hour week, or the average part time worker's hours for a week.

SECOND, there needs to be a way for employers to report or intercept claims filed by employees who've been called on to return to work.

Businesses are already struggling, and issues such as these will further limit their ability to bring back employees to operate at full capacity.

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Idea No. 2520