Cancel Work Search Louisiana

Governor John Bel Edwards

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As Louisiana faces some of the highest rates of coronavirus infection in the nation, the Louisiana Workforce Commission is forcing unemployed Louisiana workers to start proving they’re trying to find work or lose their unemployment benefits.

The pandemic—not unemployment insurance—is what’s keeping people from their jobs. But forcing people to look for work before the pandemic is under control risks workers’ health. And putting bureaucratic hurdles in front of people struggling to get by simply makes no sense. That’s why Congress allowed states to suspend work search rules to begin with, and why Gov. Edwards wisely suspended those rules here earlier in the pandemic.

Tell Gov. Edwards to suspend Louisiana’s work search rules immediately. Our state should be working to get this virus under control so that workers can go back to their jobs, not finding ways to cut unemployed workers off from help.

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New Orleans, LA
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To: Governor John Bel Edwards
From: [Your Name]

I urge you to cancel Louisiana’s plans to institute a work search requirement for unemployment insurance.

Louisiana’s unemployed workers want to work, but the pandemic is keeping them from their jobs. Adding more paperwork to the unemployment claims process won’t bring those jobs back. But new red tape will waste everyone’s time: workers will have to apply to jobs they are under- or overqualified for, jobs that put them at higher risk for contracting COVID-19, and jobs that don’t pay a livable wage while they wait for their workplace to reopen; employers will have to wade through reams of new applications from people who need to check a box to hold on to one of the few lifelines available in a crisis.

Louisiana’s unemployment benefits, which max out at $247 a week, are among the lowest in the nation. But even that low benefit amount is crucial to workers who are increasingly desperate to make ends meet as this crisis continues and their workplaces stay closed. This requirement is sure to trip people up and to discourage people from applying for a benefit they need.

The pandemic is not under control in our state, and our economy has not recovered. Now is not the time to make it harder for people who are out of work to pay rent and feed their families.