Workers who were laid off in Maryland experienced frustrations similar to Americans in other states after the coronavirus pandemic forced businesses to shut down. When Maryland tried to fix these issues with a new online portal for unemployment claims, the problems persisted and got even worse in some cases.
Unemployment portal fails to provide help for workers
The state created the Beacon One Stop website to assist users with their electronic claims for unemployment. However, people who had waited all week to make claims on the new system were disappointed, as it did not work as planned. Applicants tried putting in their social security numbers to start an application, and most of them received errors that said the number does not match a person in the database.
This happened despite promises from government officials that their new system would work better to handle hundreds of thousands of unemployment claims each week. The previous department of labor website was quickly overwhelmed when claims came in, and certain categories of workers could not even apply because their occupations were not listed. This was especially true for the self employed and gig workers. Some applicants were even required to apply by phone, which made the situation even more difficult. The department said that they were receiving over 500 calls each hour.
Several individuals have tried to form online groups to share information about getting their unemployment money, as the phone lines seem to be constantly busy and the department of labor’s computers simply do not work.
The Maryland Department of Labor did not respond to questions from the local news for Baltimore that were sent by email. Their computer system gave a generic message that there was a high volume of people claiming benefits, and they were working to fix temporary errors and related issues.
How employment lawyers help workers
Labor laws and regulations exist for the purpose of protecting workers from various forms of exploitation. Employers must always follow laws related to proper wages, overtime, family leave, and local ordinances.
If a business or corporation attempts to bypass these rules, they may be sued, and the injured worker is entitled to compensation that can include all earned wages, overtime, and damages for illegal actions. Legal professionals who focus on this area of the law dedicate their practices to assisting workers who have been harmed by their employer. It is important to get advice from a lawyer, as no one within your company will admit that they have done anything wrong or notify workers of violations.
Get legal help now
Attorneys who are licensed in the state of Maryland can assist you with employment issues such as unpaid wages, retaliation, discrimination, or sexual harassment. Browse the listings on USAttorneys.com to find a lawyer in your city.