Judges in Two States Rule $300 Unemployment Benefits Must Be Paid
Federal unemployment benefits distributed as part of the country’s pandemic relief efforts are slated to expire nationwide on September 6, 2021. So far, to date, a total of 26 states have already halted the enhanced unemployment benefits. These funds include $300 federal “bonus” benefits on top of state unemployment insurance and unemployment benefits to freelancers and gig workers.
A list of states that include Maryland, Indiana, Ohio and Texas claim that the enhanced benefits are contributing to the labor shortage, CBS News reported. Enhanced benefits may keep workers sidelined as businesses strive to fill open positions.
Employees and their advocates in Indiana and Maryland have sued on the ground that states are required to “cooperate with the U.S. Department of Labor and maximize benefits for unemployed residents,” CBS News writes.
As a result, judges in Maryland and Indiana on Wednesday ruled that states must restart the pandemic jobless benefits until the lawsuits are resolved. The National Employment Law Project (NELP) says that more than 500,000 unemployed residents in those states should see their federal benefits resume until September 6, 2021, when benefits expire at the federal level.
Residents of Texas and Ohio, where benefits were terminated on June 26, have also filed lawsuits, according to an Associated Press article published by U.S. News & World Report. Judges in Texas rejected the lawsuit, but the suit in Ohio is still pending.