Activists have been aggressively lobbying members of the Ohio House and Senate and urging them to vote to protect unemployment compensation. House Bill 394 could potentially cut unemployment compensation from 26 weeks to as little as 12 weeks for out-of-work Ohioans.
An additional unemployment compensation bill, House Bill 620, continues to rush reform through the "lame duck" session, does not include input from invested parties, including labor, and cuts benefits to 20 weeks and to dependents.
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Recently, anti-worker proponents of deep cuts to unemployment compensation called being on unemployment a “lifestyle.” This was an implication that those who are out of work and getting UC benefits are milking the system and living a posh existence.
OCSEA and other opponents say reducing the number of weeks allowed would hurt out-of-work Ohioans trying to get back on their feet after a job loss. Opponents continue to dispel the harmful myths of unemployment. The Ohio AFL-CIO and Policy Matters Ohio spoke at a recent hearing out about the importance of maintaining UC benefits and the impacts on Ohio workers.
“Most workers want to stay employed and want to get a new job as quickly as they can. People turn to unemployment compensation when forced to because their employer laid them off,” said Policy Matters Ohio, a research institute, in a recent blog post.
“Of course, some Ohioans are unable to find work and need the full 26 weeks of benefits available. A smaller share of Ohioans exhausts their benefits than do unemployed workers in other states, but retaining the 26-week maximum is crucial to those who most need this earned benefit,” according to the blog.
Read Policy Matters Ohio blog post: The fictional unemployment “lifestyle”.
Read Policy Matters Ohio's blog post: Take A Stand Against Potential Unemployment Compensation Benefit Cuts