Ruling: Fla. Unemployment Insurance Process Unfair
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Workers' rights advocates in Florida are applauding an initial determination by the U.S. Department of Labor that says Florida's online application requirement for people applying for unemployment insurance violates federal civil rights laws.
Attorneys representing the Miami Workers Center, which filed the November 2011 complaint, said Thursday the finding was a victory for workers dealing with what they say were unfair barriers to applying for benefits.
In August 2011, the state eliminated phone and paper applications. It also required anyone seeking benefits to apply online and take a 45-question skills' assessment.
In its 56-page brief the Department of Labor's Civil Rights Center said that the skills' assessment requirement in particular violates federal nondiscrimination law.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity says it's committed to working to remedy any violations.
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