DWD implementing its new concealment definition

The Department of Workforce Development has issued a new directive about the new definition of unemployment concealment set forth in 2015 Wis. Act 334.

As noted already, the new concealment definition makes claimants strictly liable for their mistakes and places the burden of proof on them to explain that any mistakes at issue were not their fault. If they fail to make that case, then the concealment charge and all the associated liabilities will stand.

There are two issues to take away from this directive.

First, this new directive points out that the new concealment definition is effective for all initial determinations issued after 3 April 2016. So, understand that the Department will be applying this new definition regardless of when the mistakes actually occurred. Mistakes that took place in 2012 will now be subject to this new concealment definition simply because the Department is alleging concealment after April 3rd of 2016.

Second, the Department explicitly acknowledges that this new concealment definition actually aligns with its prior concealment enforcement. The action required by the Department to enforce this new concealment definition is simply: “None, UI Staff currently use this definition of concealment to make eligibility decisions. Staff should continue to consider all relevant factors when determining if any individual has concealed information.”

So, the Department stopped following Commission and court precedents on concealment and now has rewritten the statute to reflect what the Department is currently doing. This development represents a government agency pursuing an ideological goal of punishing people who collect unemployment benefits rather than just trying to help people understand and follow claim filing requirements. If these and other legal developments continue, in five or so years employers will be paying UI taxes into a system to which only very few have access. And then many will be asking why have an unemployment system at all.

4 thoughts on “DWD implementing its new concealment definition

  1. Pingback: “Substantial” changes to substantial fault | Wisconsin Unemployment

  2. I need legal help! How was found guilty of concealing wages for 3 weeks totaling $1,110. I was penalized severely for this. They charged me the full amount Plus $444 in fees on top of that an additional $2,220 for benefit reduction. I have paid back over $3,000 of that and I’m still waiting for my appeal to go through. I am 13 days away from being homeless , cannot find a job for anything and I have no way to get help but they still continued to take take take and not worry about who suffers. I did not intentionally file for wages I simply didn’t understand the process. The reason I claimed for three additional weeks is because when I filed my initial unemployment claim it took 5 weeks for pay out and they only paid one week out so where did the other four weeks go? My assumption was I was supposed to claim an additional 4 weeks to cover that nobody ever told me otherwise and I didn’t understand the handbook because you have to go online to read it. So now they take my hard-earned money (and when I say hard-earned I honestly and truly mean hard-earned) I was sexually harassed on top of working with incredibly lazy grown men as well as men that would come into work on a daily basis with hangovers and have to sit down every 10 minutes because they were feeling ill while I did all the heavy lifting and repackaging. And I had a wonderful boss that did nothing about it when I went to her for help she laughed at me when I told her I was being sexually harassed. So I suffered for 9 months and now I can’t get a single penny to help me survive after working my entire life and never asking for help from anyone up until the past year-and-a-half. Is there anyone out there that can give me advice or lead me in the right direction to get assistance whether it be winning my unemployment appeal or financial assistance from somewhere so I don’t lose my little apartment that my daughter and I live in?

  3. Pingback: The profit in unemployment concealment | Wisconsin Unemployment

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