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AZ House OKs bill requiring workers to prove eligibility to get unemployment benefits

unemploymentThe Arizona House of Representatives has approved a bill that shifts to workers the burden of proving that they’re eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.

Republican Rep. Warren Peterson argued his bill prevents people from collecting benefits when they’re not eligible while employers fight their claims. Democrats argued it puts federal funding of the state’s program in jeopardy.

The bill requires workers to present documents showing they’re eligible when filing for unemployment insurance benefits.

Democratic Rep. Debbie McCune Davis says most employment lawyers tell their clients not to put anything in writing when letting workers go. That means workers can’t prove they deserve benefits without a long wait.

The bill also lets employers simply say a worker voluntarily resigned or quit.

Thursday’s 36-23 party-line vote sends the bill to the Senate.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

One comment

  1. I’m sorry to say my representatives proposed this bill at the behest of a restaurant owner. That sector has high turnover and low pay. Usually workers in this field aren’t looking to collect unemployment, so I’m wondering why this bill was necessary.

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