Good Move by Workforce Commission; More Needed

Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy issued this statement on the Texas Workforce Commission's decision today to reinstate a waiver of the work search requirement for millions of Texans who have lost their jobs in the pandemic:

"We are relieved to see the Texas Workforce Commission respond to public and legislative outcry and walk back an ill-considered resumption of a hurdle to Unemployment Insurance benefits for working people whose jobs have been shut down by the coronavirus.

"The agency needs to do more. Workers who apply for Unemployment Insurance or otherwise need to contact the agency are still unable to log in or phone on a timely basis. That is where the resources need to go.

"TWC employees have risen to the occasion mightily. They are doing their utmost to serve the state, but they are digging out from an avalanche with a teaspoon. Until TWC ramps up public access to acceptable levels, the agency needs to dispense with administrative requirements that are not essential to the task of verifying eligibility and making payments. The agency should go further and suspend the bi-weekly "request for payment" required of workers who have already been deemed eligible for benefits.

"We will continue to fight and organize to get the agency to focus on getting earned benefits into the hands of working people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Texas deserves no less."