Saturday, January 28, 2023

Play

A critical number of rural IA nursing homes close; TX lawmakers consider measures to restrict, and expand voting in 2023 Session; and CT groups, and unions call for public-health reforms.

Play

Attorney General announces enforcement actions on ransomware, Democrats discuss border policies, and the FDA is relaxing rules for gay and bisexual men to donate blood.

Play

"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

Iowa Gov't.: Refusing to Return to Work During Crisis Voids Benefits

Play

Wednesday, April 29, 2020   

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa officials say furloughed workers who resist calls to return to their jobs during the pandemic run the risk of losing their unemployment benefits. The warning comes amid some workers' fears of becoming infected as economic activity picks up again.

Later this week, Gov. Kim Reynolds will allow dozens of counties to partially reopen certain businesses. With a few exceptions, the state has said workers who are called back but refuse to go will be ineligible for jobless benefits.

Edgar Ndjatou, executive director of the group Workplace Fairness, said the state has the right to take this action -- but it doesn't look good in terms of making workers feel protected.

"I definitely understand the reasons why some states want to reopen the economy sooner rather than later, but there still has to be a level of empathy and humanity," he said. "It's not like you've found a silver bullet and you've solved COVID-19."

Iowa is seeing a faster spread of the virus in certain counties, with more than 6,300 confirmed cases to date. Iowa Workforce Development has said someone who refuses to return to work over infection fears will be considered a "voluntary quit." Exceptions include workers who already have tested positive or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or who have a family member who's been diagnosed.

The state has cited the potential for fraud as furloughed workers receive additional unemployment benefits from the federal government during the pandemic. It's calling on companies to report instances of work refusal. However, Ndjatou said employers must be mindful of worker-protection laws they need to follow, and he hopes they offer flexibility when easing their staff back in.

"Maybe putting people in part-time work," he said, "just so that you can play around with certain safe precautions."

Under the governor's order, businesses such as restaurants that are reopening only will be allowed half capacity. Nebraska has issued a similar warning about work refusal, but advised those with underlying conditions to ask not to be recalled, so they can keep their benefits.

A link for reporting such job-offer declines is online at iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov.


get more stories like this via email

New data show in California, 2021-22 state testing scores are even lower than the state's historically low testing scores. (Rawpixel/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Many of California's 13.5 million children and teens have not bounced back after the pandemic, especially children of color, according to the just-…


Social Issues

Americans continue to report low trust in mainstream media, with many younger than 30 saying they trust information from social media nearly as much …

Social Issues

A Minnesota House committee heard testimony Thursday about the governor's proposed spending plan for education. As these talks unfold, public polling …


From February 2020 to November 2021, the number of workers in nursing homes and other care facilities dropped by 410,000 nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals say low pay and a worker shortage have led a dramatic number of nursing homes in rural Iowa to close their doors. They hope …

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals and advocates in Connecticut have said it will take sweeping reforms to bolster the state's flailing public health system…

In a national survey, Michigan was ranked 27th among the 50 states for its cost, access and quality of long-term care supports and services. California was ranked first. (Flickr)

Social Issues

In her fifth State of the State address this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer emphasized policies designed to put more money in Michiganders' pockets…

Social Issues

By nearly every measure, voter fraud in U.S. elections is rare, but that isn't stopping the Texas Legislature from considering dozens of bills this …

Social Issues

A Republican-sponsored bill in the Arkansas Legislature would make it illegal to circulate petitions at or near polling places during elections…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021