Birmingham, Ala. – On April 23rd, the Alabama Department of Labor (ADOL) issued a warning that deciding to leave work or failing to return to work in order to collect increased unemployment benefits may qualify as fraud and be subject to prosecution. Thus ADOL clarified that even with new benefits available, the criteria to receive unemployment compensation still requires that an employee be involuntarily separated from his or her employer.

The announcement came just two days after the Alabama Policy Institute released its report and recommendations to the Governor’s task force on how to address unemployment and the CARES Act. In the report, API highlighted that many receiving unemployment benefits could now have a larger income than when they are fully employed and suggested that “the Alabama Department of Labor should cease the ‘encouragement’ of individuals to apply for benefits and retool its message to be one of informing of the responsible application for said benefits.”

API’s report, and the possibility of abuse of the employment system, was brought to the attention of the Department of Labor. Secretary of Labor Fitzgerald Washington, in fact, remarked in his warning that “It’s important for workers to know that if their employer reopens or otherwise calls them back to work, they must do so, unless they have a good work-related cause.”

“As Alabama moves toward a gradual reopening of society and our economy, we must not disincentivize folks from going back to work,” commented API’s Director of Policy Strategy Phil Williams. “Unemployment should be reserved only for those who truly need it because they lost their job and not be inappropriately taken by those who don’t want to work.”

We commend the Governor, the Secretary, and the Department for clarifying their message and hope that they will continue to implement API’s recommendations in the days ahead.

# # #

MORE ON API News

Alabama Policy Institute Unveils RESTORE Alabama Plan, Asks Governor to Call a Special Legislative Session to Address Key COVID-19 Related Issues

Birmingham, Ala. – Today the Alabama Policy Institute (API) released to the public and submitted to Governor Ivey and to the Governor’s Special Task Force the “RESTORE Alabama Plan.” The plan, Responsible Efficient Solutions to Open and Revive the Economy (RESTORE) advocates six major points of policy which must be addressed to help Alabama recover from […]

Anchored in Alabama: Stories of Hope – Week Seven

As API enters the seventh week publishing Anchored in Alabama, our team continues to be encouraged by the stories we hear from you and from local media. It is clear that our faith communities and businesses are stepping up to this challenge. We continue to say ‘Thank You’ for your support of this publication. As always, […]

Anchored in Alabama: Stories of Hope – Week Six

As API enters the sixth week publishing Anchored in Alabama, our team continues to be encouraged by the stories we hear from you and from local media. It is clear that our faith communities and businesses are stepping up to this challenge. We continue to say ‘Thank You’ for your support of this publication. As always, […]

MORE FROM The Alabama Policy Institute

5/29/2020 News Recap

On this week’s news recap podcast, Josh and Parker begin our Alabama stories by discussing the Sessions’ campaign’s call for five debates with Coach Tommy Tuberville, followed by a discussion of API’s RESTORE Alabama Agenda and a hit piece CNN did on Alabama beaches over the holiday weekend. In national news, we discuss the deaths […]

Alabama Policy Institute Unveils RESTORE Alabama Plan, Asks Governor to Call a Special Legislative Session to Address Key COVID-19 Related Issues

Birmingham, Ala. – Today the Alabama Policy Institute (API) released to the public and submitted to Governor Ivey and to the Governor’s Special Task Force the “RESTORE Alabama Plan.” The plan, Responsible Efficient Solutions to Open and Revive the Economy (RESTORE) advocates six major points of policy which must be addressed to help Alabama recover from […]

Anchored in Alabama: Stories of Hope – Week Seven

As API enters the seventh week publishing Anchored in Alabama, our team continues to be encouraged by the stories we hear from you and from local media. It is clear that our faith communities and businesses are stepping up to this challenge. We continue to say ‘Thank You’ for your support of this publication. As always, […]