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Archive for Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Furloughed state court employees eligible for unemployment payouts

Kansas court workers agreed to take furloughs on Fridays to help balance the budget. They will receive unemployment payments from a trust fund.

April 14, 2010, 8:55 a.m. Updated April 14, 2010, 10:13 a.m.

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— Kansas court workers who are being forced to take four unpaid days off in April and May will get some financial help from the state's unemployment insurance trust fund, the state Department of Labor said.

In mid-March, the state Supreme Court announced that 1,490 full-time court employees would be furloughed for four Fridays in April and May. That has shut down county district courts and appellate courts, saving the state about $220,000 each Friday.

The Labor Department has not calculated how much in unemployment benefits the workers will be paid, department spokeswoman Kathy Toelkes said Tuesday.

The unemployment insurance trust fund, which is financed by payments from employers, not the state's general fund, is depleted and Kansas is borrowing money to replenish it from the federal government, Toelkes said.

The first furlough was on Friday, and the remaining furloughs are scheduled for April 16, April 23 and May 7. The furloughs do not apply to judges, whose pay was cut 5 percent.

The payments are to help defray the financial impact of the furloughs, said Ron Keefover, a spokesman for the state Supreme Court.

"We think every little bit will help," he said.

Based on a formula used to calculate unemployment benefits for the furloughed workers, a clerk who normally earns $13 an hour would receive $57.46 for each Friday, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported. A court services officer earning $20 an hour would receive $88.40 for each day, but that would be reduced $1.20 because the benefit cap is $87.20 a day.

Keefover said the Labor Department devised the program for the furloughed court workers. The workers can receive their money either on a debit card or direct-deposit to a bank account. Court workers are automatically signed up for the payments.

Don Troth, Shawnee County District Court administrator, said court workers could expect to receive the payments in late April.

Comments

GetAlongGang 4 years, 8 months ago

So instead of paying them their full pay and having them work that day we are paying them partial pay and having them do nothing. I know the money comes from a different pool.... but it is all taxpayer money when it comes down to it. Governmental inefficiency sure is amazing.

absolutelyridiculous 4 years, 8 months ago

Wow. As someone paying into the unemployment system...if my business gets slow, as an owner, I can't draw from the ten's of thousands of dollars I've paid into the system unless I shut down my business. Amazing...I need to go to work for the state. I'm working way to hard to keep everyone else's mortgage paid.

Kash_Encarri 4 years, 8 months ago

Not necessarily true. You may be able to workshare your employees, which is what the courts are doing. There are many companies that take advantage of this in order to retain their workers while still saving some money. Of course your experience rating will take a hit so you'll pay more UI next year, but that doesn't mean you can't see some benefits from this program.

poppygirl 4 years, 8 months ago

Just makes absolutely no sense what so ever !..Rob from Peter to pay Paul

Adrienne Sanders 4 years, 8 months ago

This makes no sense to me... so can anyone who normally works full time but has their hours reduced apply for partial unemployment? Or is this a special deal for these workers? It sounds like the latter... but WHY?

bendover61 4 years, 8 months ago

Any question as to why we are in the middle of the greatest financial crisis since the '30s.

Alia Ahmed 4 years, 8 months ago

As a part of their fringe benefit package, the state (or at least KU) pays into the unemployment compensation fund. Why should those employees not be able to access the same benefits as anyone else whose employer makes contributions to the unemployment fund?

I have a friend who used to work for a photography company taking photos for church directories, etc. During their slow period, those employees are able to receive unemployment benefits for the 2-3 days a week that they don't work. So this is not a "special benefit" for state employees.

redfred 4 years, 8 months ago

I don't think anyone is faulting the employees. Instead it is the stat's ineffeicency. So instead of saving 220,000 the state is probably only saving 110,000! And the court system gets further behind and the employee turnover rate increases.

Randall Barnes 4 years, 8 months ago

dulcinea

yes if your hours have been cut anyone can file for partial unemployment.depends on how much you make and how many hours you work lets say one week you work 60 hours and the next week you only work 20 hours you can claim that week as partial. even though you are getting your 80 hours on 1 check unemployment goes week by week.

William Weissbeck 4 years, 8 months ago

At what point does the word insanity come to mind? Taking money from a fund that has no money in it to pay workers who are furloughed because their dedicated fund as no money in it.

yankeevet 4 years, 8 months ago

yes; borrow from Visa and pay the Mastercard...........

formerfarmer 4 years, 8 months ago

I thought there was a one week waiting period before you could draw unemployment. It has been a long time since I have drawn any, so it may have changed.

domino 4 years, 8 months ago

So much of this makes NO sense to me, but I guess my one question is this: Why are court workers automatically signed up for these payments? If they want to draw unemployment, let them go thru the hassle and paperwork just like anyone else off the street! Just so wrong on so many levels!!

kansasmutt 4 years, 8 months ago

domino ) you are right. Let them see what the average worker has to deal with after waiting a week to file. Let them spend 3 hours on hold, let them get a card that doesnt work, let them see how much of a pain it is to get what is owed to you for working hard. I know people who are off work and after 2 months gave up and left Kansas and went to the military, becuse they could not get unemployment beni,s started. The idea of the state workers being exempt from having to go through the system like regular workers is BS !!!!!

Randall Barnes 4 years, 8 months ago

trust me it is easier if you file your self,my company filed for me and and it was more of a hassle cause i had to resend the info.

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