Bills to Help Unemployed Texans Advance

The Texas AFL-CIO thanked the Texas House for advancing two bills that would upgrade the Unemployment Insurance system in Texas.

  HB 157 by Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, would bolster the existing Shared Work program, which allows employers to reduce hours for employees and at the same time allows employees to receive partial benefits. HB 3697 by Rep. Ana Hernandez, D-Houston, would allow for benefits when an individual leaves the workplace to care for a minor child suffering illness or injury if no reasonable alternative care is available.

  “The House today took steps to improve the landscape for working Texans who lose their jobs through no fault of their own,” Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy said. “The Shared Work program is undersung and richly deserves a boost, because it both helps employers who want to keep good workers in hard times and helps workers who can maintain part-time hours and be made nearly whole through partial benefits. In addition, allowing Texans to collect benefits when their only option is to leave work to care for a minor child would take a step toward preventing the burdens of child care from falling disproportionately on women. We thank Reps. Eddie Rodriguez and Ana Hernandez for leading the way on HB 157 and HB 3697 and we thank the House for moving forward on these bills.”

  “The pandemic — which brought millions of job losses and interruptions — has opened Texans’ eyes to the many shortcomings in our Unemployment Insurance laws,” Levy said. “These bills, and others that are pending, would help fulfill the mission of Unemployment Insurance — tiding  workers over when they are between jobs.”