ABI Advocates for One-week Waiting Period

February 7, 2019

ABI and its members know and experience Iowa’s workforce shortage more than any other organization. Currently in Iowa, there are more jobs available than people to fill the jobs, including those individuals on unemployment. ABI has long advocated for ensuring the unemployment trust fund is for those individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own and should not be used to pay for job training or other policy decisions not related to an employee’s employment status. As part of the workforce priority, ABI seeks to support legislation that ensures Iowa’s trust fund encourages people to get back to work and increase their skills.

A subcommittee was held this week on HSB 42, which is Iowa Workforce Development’s policy bill. A section of the omnibus legislation contains language that would enact a one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits. ABI attended the meeting and spoke in favor of this specific provision as it would help preserve the integrity of the unemployment trust fund. According to UWC, Iowa is one of just 10 states that does not have a one-week waiting period. Several union organizations were also in attendance and expressed their opposition. The subcommittee members suggested more conversation on this issue, but the three Republican members ultimately signed off and recommended passage of the bill.

In addition to IWD’s policy bill, the Senate also held a subcommittee on reporting employees who apply for jobs they are not qualified for or do not intend to accept. The legislation would place a rebuttable presumption on the employee to prove they were not unqualified for the position. The bill did not move forward, but there may be some components of the legislation that end up in other proposals yet this session.

There are other pieces of legislation to address unemployment issues ranging from misconduct to how employers are noticed. If you have feedback on any proposal, please contact Nicole or Brad.  Also, if you have examples you would like to share about your experience with the unemployment system, please let us know. Finally, if you have individuals you think are fraudulently applying or attempting to apply for jobs, you can currently turn them in to Iowa Workforce.

Several media articles have been written about the issue this week: