Rep. MacMaster votes to approve common-sense unemployment reforms

Categories: News

The Michigan House today overwhelmingly approved legislation reforming unemployment policies that include denying unemployment benefits to anyone who fails or refuses to take a drug test as a condition of employment, state Rep. Greg MacMaster announced.

The legislation disqualifies anyone from receiving unemployment benefits if they fail or refuse to take a drug test as part of an application for employment, unless good cause is shown.

“We made the promise to improve transparency, accountability and make the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars, and this legislation is a big step forward toward reaching those goals,” said MacMaster, R-Kewadin.  “These are common-sense reforms.  Unemployment benefits are a temporary helping hand for people who are actively looking and preparing for a new job, and anyone who can’t pass a drug test is not properly preparing for the work force.”

House Bills 4949-54 also:

  • Require claimants to repay the entire amount of benefits that were improperly paid to them – dating back to when they were improperly paid, not just amounts received after the Unemployment Insurance Agency was notified;
  • Require employers to respond to requests for information necessary to determine claims within a reasonable amount of time. If employers do not respond, any benefits paid as a result – even if they are improperly paid – will be charged to the employer’s account as if they were properly paid; and
  • Allow the agency to keep 85 percent of fraudulent funds recovered in their penalty and interest account, but require 15 percent to go back into the trust fund; previously the agency kept 100 percent of recovered funds in the penalties and interest account.

The bills now go to the Senate for consideration.