News Column

Gov. Patrick to Announce Unemployment Abuse Crackdown

Jan. 10, 2013

John Zaremba

Gov. Deval Patrick, in a direct response to Herald reports about city and town workers gaming the state unemployment insurance system, will announce a sweeping set of reforms this afternoon.

Patrick is planning a 12:30 p.m. news conference to announce the changes, which include:

Eliminating unemployment pay for retired workers who return part time, then file for unemployment when they reach income caps set forth in their pensions

Prohibiting poll workers from claiming Election Day wages when filing for unemployment

Ending summertime jobless pay for any school worker given a reasonable assurance of re-employment in the fall

Allowing the state Department of Unemployment Assistance to intercept federal tax returns of anyone who received jobless pay improperly.

The reforms closely follow the recommendations of a task force appointed last year to study the problem after a series of Herald exposes on municipal workers pulling jobless pay under outrageous circumstances.

"We are confident that the proposed changes will produce significant financial and administrative relief for municipalities while maintaining integrity of the UI system and respecting the rights of those unemployed workers with valid UI claims," said Joanne F. Goldstein, Secretary of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

___



Distributed by MCT Information Services



Source: (c) 2013 Boston Herald