Victor Forberger

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In a surprise session on February 17th, the Joint Finance Committee met to discuss unemployment proposals to take advantage of some federal dollars from the Continuing Assistance Act and the Department’s effort to fund a new mainframe computer system. The substitute amendment that was passed unanimously (?!) will: start the process for a request for proposals (RFP) for the new computing system (but does not provide any actual funding), extend the waiting week waiver to…
In part 1, I described how difficult it is for disabled folks to gain access to the Department’s claim-filing and how the Department’s rules absolve the Department of responsibility for providing effective access. Here is the Department’s statement about a lack of accommodations when confronted with some of these problems — namely that a hard-of-hearing person who reads lips could not call and ask for assistance, that there is only one way to file…
The Department’s illegal questions of disabled workers over their able and available status and the Department’s general hostility towards disabled workers have already been documented. But, what exactly are the Department’s obligations towards making the claims-filing process accessible to disabled folk? TMJ4 looked at this issue a few weeks ago and found that those with visual or hearing impairments are seemingly out-of-luck when trying to file an unemployment claim. As Wisconsin currently only has one…
It has taken almost a year, but there is now a decision from the Labor and Industry Review Commission about being able and available during the pandemic. This case involves a part-time tour guide for the Capitol. When the pandemic struck, the Capitol building was closed to the public, those tours stopped, and she was laid off. She applied for unemployment and, when contacted by the Department, explained that, as a 75-year-old woman with underlying…
Update (3 Feb. 2021): Thankfully, the Department has announced through a FAQ that work searches will continue to be waived through another emergency rule. I will have details when they emerge. For now: Work Search FAQ I heard the work search is no longer waived as of February 7, 2021. Is that true?No. The work search requirement will continue to be waived at this time. We will update you when that changes. DWD has submitted…
Work searches in Wisconsin — a statutory requirement per Wis. Stat. § 108.04(2)(a)3 — were initially waived per Gov. Evers’ emergency order #7 and then emergency rule 2006. This emergency rule was renewed twice and so slated to expire on 2 February 2021 if a new emergency rule was not enacted. With no subsequent emergency rule, the waiver of the four job searches a week is now over. Claimants wanting to receive regular unemployment…
I am scheduled to testify before the Senate Committee on Economic and Workforce Development this Wednesday, January 27th, at a public hearing starting at 10am, concerning Wisconsin unemployment. Given the general lack of information about what is actually happening with the unemployment crisis, I have provided the committee a 199pp. PDF of the materials and a 3pp. letter describing those materials. WisEye will be carrying the testimony live. Some of the charts and tables…
Greg LeRoy of Good Jobs First has the following news for the government officials who read this blog: The low-road “Economic War Among the States” was visibly on steroids during the Amazon HQ2 tax-break auction. But Jeff Bezos was only playing a system that is more than 80 years old. This “race-to-the-bottom” captures the public sector in a “prisoners’ dilemma,” thereby enabling site location consultants and their corporate clients to dominate how economic development happens…
The unemployment special session has come and gone with nothing to show. For some reason, however, folks seem to think a new mainframe is somehow vital to fixing the unemployment case-handling problems at the Department. I have to ask: what are they smoking? A new mainframe is a four to eight year project, and there is no guarantee of success. Massachusetts, for example, did not actually get a new unemployment system until its third…
The Continued Assistance Act had a rocky signing, but it is now law and some details are starting to emerge. As with this pandemic, there are numerous programs, and it is vital that you keep the distinctions clear for yourself. So, first determine which unemployment benefit applies to you and then read the section for that specific benefit. And, then read about the other benefit programs, as those will likely affect you as well…