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Georgians Need SolutionsGeorgia Department of Labor Unemployment Insurance Claims

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, it was evident that the Georgia Department of Labor did not have the adequate staff and technological infrastructure to keep up with the increased unemployment insurance claims. These unemployment insurance claims were filed in record numbers from March 2020 that continues through the present day.

The Current Labor Commissioner caused a dire situation during the pandemic when the Labor Commissioner ordered that all the Career Centers be closed throughout the State for the duration of the pandemic. The Career Centers remained closed even after courts, school systems, and other public agencies reopened throughout Georgia with Center for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 Safety Protocols implemented. These continued closures of the Career Centers led to recently unemployed Georgians’ phone calls and email messages not being returned timely if those inquiries were returned at all by the Georgia Department of Labor. Georgia General Assembly members, including Representative Boddie, and Community Organizations vigorously advocated getting answers for constituents regarding the timely processing and payment of eligible unemployment insurance claims with no real answers from the Current Labor Commissioner.

Unfortunately, some eligible Georgia Workers did not receive their actual unemployment benefits for several months after filing their initial claims. They also received no communication from representatives at the Georgia Department of Labor on the pending payment status of their claims. The negligence of these inactions caused some Georgia Workers many struggles due to layoffs and some workers lost their jobs to no fault of their own. With no access to assistance from the Georgia Department of Labor, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic caused many Georgians to lose access to basic needs. There was loss of shelter due to eviction and loss of transportation to work due to vehicle repossession. This crisis of inaction and unresponsiveness is unacceptable for any Georgia Labor Commissioner to allow under their watch.

As Georgia Labor Commissioner, Representative Boddie will install modernized technology, hire additional staff, and implement new policies & procedures to be prepared for future natural disasters, public health emergencies, or an economic recession that can affect the State of Georgia. The Georgia Department of Labor will be adequately prepared and ready to respond to Georgia Workers in need.