Employees are choosing unemployment over work, statewide. This is an issue the Employment Development Department is investigating.
Now that businesses are starting to open their doors, many would think employees were eager to get back; but for some making more money on un-employment, that’s not the case.
Local business owner Mike Earhart, says some of his employees refuse to come back to work, as they continue to collect unemployment checks.
But according to the Employment Development Department, this qualifies as UI fraud.
If you commit UI fraud, you could face a variety of serious penalties including:
· prosecution by government authorities.
· possible jail or prison sentences.
· repaying the UI benefits collected, plus penalties and fines.
· forfeiting future income tax refunds.
· losing eligibility to collect UI benefits in the future.
Earhart says he faced it first hand, as the Owner of Wikis Wine Dive and Grill, he says it has been to persuade employees to return.
When 23ABC reached out to the EDD they issued us this statement:
“An individual is disqualified for UI if they refuse to accept “suitable” employment when offered. Under California law, the EDD will consider whether the particular work is “suitable” in light of factors such as the degree of risk involved to the individual’s health and safety.”
“you would not have good cause for refusing the work solely because the wages you are offered for the work are less than the amount you have been receiving in your regular UI benefits.”
For employers who are looking to make a claim with the Employment Development Department, you can do so here: Notice of Unemployment Insurance Claim Filed [edd.ca.gov]