Job searches and temp agencies

The Department of Workforce Development has recently updated the employer’s handbook about how former employees of temp agencies need to contact those temp agencies on a weekly basis as one of their four weekly job searches:

AC. Work Search and Temporary Help Companies

Section 104.04(2)(i)

If a claimant worked for a temporary help company, (s)he may be required to contact the company for an assignment as one of the required four work search actions each week to satisfy the work search requirements.

The department will initiate an investigation regarding the claimant’s failure to contact a temporary help company for an assignment if the temporary help company notifies the Department of the issue, in writing, within 10 days after the week in which the claimant failed to contact it for an assignment.

A claimant who is required to contact a temporary help company for an assignment as part of his or her work search requirement but fails to do so is ineligible for benefits for the week(s) in which such failure occurred.

Updated: July 7, 2014

As noted in this update, this requirement is based on Wis. Stat. § 104.04(2)(i), one of the many changes instituted by 2013 Wis. Act 20.

Unfortunately, the Department is not letting claimants in on this new requirement. Information in the claimant’s handbook about job search requirements has none of this information about temp agencies. Here is what the handbook today — 20 August 2014 — says in toto about job search requirements for claimants:

Part 4: Work Search, Registration for Work and Reemployment Services

Work Search

When You Must Look for Work

You must look for work each week unless the department clearly tells you that your work search is “waived” and that you do not have to look for work.

In some cases, you will not have to look for work if you are working part-time. Do not stop looking for work just because you start working part-time. Call a Claims Specialist to find out if your part-time work allows us to waive your work search.

If you do not make an adequate search for work, you may lose benefits.

If applying for Wisconsin UI Benefits from another state and Wisconsin tells you to register for work or report in person, you should go to the public employment office nearest your home.

Weekly Work Search

Effective with claims filed for weeks ending 07/13/2013 and later: You must contact four employers every week if you are told that you have to look for work.

If you are required to look for work, the UCB-12 weekly work search notice will provide you with detailed work search instructions and a sample work search log. Do not stop looking for work unless you are advised by the department your work search is waived.

We may ask to review your work search. You must retain a record of your work search actions for 52 weeks. Falsely reporting any information on your work search form may be an act of concealment. (See Part 7: Fraud and Quality Control.)

Registration for Work

If you are required to perform a weekly work search you must register for work with Wisconsin Job Service online at https://jobcenterofwisconsin.com/ui and complete a job match profile within 14 days of the date you completed your application for UI benefits.

If you fail to register by the deadline provided, you will not be eligible for benefits for any week prior to the date you registered. If you have questions or feel you have justifiable cause for not registering as required, contact a Claims Specialist.

If you have previously registered. you must logon to https://jobcenterofwisconsin.com/ui to verify that your registration and job match profile have not expired.

Reemployment Services

Help in Finding Employment

For reemployment services logon to http://jobcenterofwisconsin.com or contact your nearest job center. To locate the nearest job center call 1-888-258-9966 toll free or search online at http://wisconsinjobcenter.org/directory. If you reside in another state contact the nearest public employment office.

Reemployment Programs

If you do not have a recall date to return to work for any employer, you may have to participate in special reemployment programs which are intended to help you find a new job early in your claim.

Participation in any of these required reemployment programs will satisfy your work search for the week in which you participate. However, attending other employment workshops on your own can only be considered one work search contact, even if the workshop is conducted by a Job Center.

Once you have been notified, you must participate in these reemployment programs. If you have been scheduled for a reemployment program and you do not go, you may lose benefits. If you cannot attend a scheduled program or have already missed one, contact the Job Center immediately to reschedule.

Updated: October 11, 2013

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2014 unemployment changes: a review of how we got here

2013 Wisconsin Act 20 (pp. 452-60 and 598-603 of the budget act) and 2013 Wisconsin Act 36 (the unemployment advisory council act) produced significant changes to unemployment law (see here for specific changes by the budget bill).

The Department of Workforce Development (DWD or Department) has provided a general description and a table of these changes. For the most part, it has been up to the Labor and Industry Commission (LIRC or Commission) to decide what all of these changes to unemployment law will mean. And, starting in 2014, the Commission has begun to issue those decisions.

Some of these decisions have already been mentioned here on this blog and additional discussions should appear soon.

In the meantime, some might find it useful to review how all of these changes to unemployment law came to be. You can find all of the original DWD proposals here (specifically, the files starting with ‘D12’) along with supporting documentation and additional developments (such as the legislator’s April 1st letter to DWD. My original memo discussing these changes offers a description of what these proposals originally intended.