NEW YORK – Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris launched a petition calling on the New York State Department of Labor to waive mandatory phone calls required as part of unemployment claims. Currently, the Labor Department requires individuals filing to call the agency to certify their claims.
“We are facing unprecedented unemployment resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, and the epicenter is here in New York,” said Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris. “The unemployment claims system is overwhelmed and people need relief. The Department of Labor must #WaiveTheCall so claims can be processed more quickly and New Yorkers can receive desperately needed relief.”
The Department of Labor currently mandates people filing for unemployment call the agency to verify information submitted as part of their claims, including whether or not they are currently looking for work. The agency has been flooded with calls from unemployed New Yorkers seeking relief because they have been laid off due to coronavirus-related shutdowns. Senator Gianaris believes the agency can route those questions through its website – in the same way people self-certify the accuracy of taxes when e-filing – and should do so as soon as possible.
Senator Gianaris’ petition can be found here.