Job hunters beware of the new hurdles that unemployment regulations in Florida have for you. The first hurdle is the determination of “Misconduct.” Prior to the new law signed by Governor Rick Scott in June 2011, misconduct was a hard burden for employers to prove to disqualify employees from receiving unemployment benefits. Starting July 1, 2011, misconduct addressed primarily incidents that occurred in the workplace. With the 2011 law, misconduct now can include activities outside of the workplace. This gives employers a better chance to have former employees disqualified. Neverthesless, the employer still has the burden to prove the incidents that occurred outside of the workplace boundaries.
Another change will be the requirement of direct deposit or the Florida Unemployment Compensation Debit Card.This will be only for applications started after July 1, 2011. This means no more paper checks.
Beginning on August 1, 2011, those receiving Unemployment Compensation
must contact five potential employers every week and document their job
search progress online. Prior, claimants were required to maintain a
record of their job contacts and were subject to being randomly called
about their record. If claimants do not contact the five required
employers, they may not be eligible for their benefits that week. This is a new requirement due to the high discovered volume of benefit fraud. Receiving unemployment and not actively searching for work could determined as fraud.
Starting August 1, 2011, all
applications for Unemployment Claim as well as weekly claims must now
be filed online only through the Agency for Workforce Innovation’s webpage.
Unemployment Compensation extends for 26 weeks. By January 1, 2012,
benefits will be adjusted to a range of 12 to 23 weeks, determined by
the state’s unemployment rate.