Workers in Louisiana who became unemployed due to the coronavirus outbreak had difficulties receiving proper payments for wages and unemployment benefits.
When millions of Americans became unemployed all at once, systems that were in place to help people out of work began to break down. Similar patterns occurred all over the country after most states were suddenly forced to shut down due to rising numbers of coronavirus cases.
Unemployed workers face a number of technical hurdles
The Louisiana Workforce Commission stated that all individuals who are applying and eligible will eventually receive their money. However, the influx of new claims and issues has slowed the process down significantly and tested their system of paying out claims. Employers were also caught off guard by the forced shutdowns, and some had difficulties meeting their payroll before workers were laid off or furloughed.
The commission released a generic statement that workers could experience delays while applying, but frustration was still widespread and many were concerned with paying bills and meeting expenses that are already past due. Those who are independent contractors, self-employed, and gig workers are now also eligible for unemployment benefits under the rules of the federal stimulus program, meaning that more workers than ever are attempting to utilize aging computer systems all at once.
Phone lines have remained busy for weeks and the unemployment website consistently crashes and loses information in the middle of an application. The agency has reported sending out tens of millions of dollars from the state and federal government each day for the last several weeks. It is not uncommon for them to send out between two and three hundred million a week since the outbreak began. Some workers are concerned if these numbers are legitimate. One unemployed bartender who was interviewed said that she received her first week of unemployment benefits and appeared to be enrolled in the system without issue. When the second week came, her benefit money never appeared. The consistent problems with the web based systems and phone lines has functioned as a deterrent to keep eligible workers from claiming their benefits.
Proper pay is required by law
Workers are entitled to all wages that an employer owes them and other payments that may be required by law. If you have experienced a recent job loss and are having difficulties, retaining legal help is often the best way to make progress.
Some lawyers dedicate their practice to assisting workers who have been treated unfairly or denied proper wages and benefits by their employers. Workplaces can engage in discriminatory behavior or other illegal actions without consequence if they are not reported or sued.
Learn more about getting assistance from a licensed attorney
There are lawyers who help victims of discrimination and wage theft throughout the state of Louisiana. For more information, contact:
3960 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806