Beginning September 1, 2012, the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development will begin implementation of the Unemployment Insurance Accountability Act of 2012 requiring all unemployment claimants in Tennessee to demonstrate valid work search activity and maintain a work search log. Failure to comply with the new law will result in a loss of benefits.
Notices will be mailed next week to all claimants receiving Tennessee Unemployment Compensation informing them of the new requirements to continue receiving benefits. Those receiving federal extended unemployment benefits are already required to document work search activity.
“The Accountability Act is aptly named as it raises the bar of accountability for those receiving unemployment benefits,” said Labor Commissioner Karla Davis. “Documenting three work searches each week will require a small effort, but the consequences of not doing them are very serious.”
Labor and Workforce Development will conduct random audits of 1,000 claimants’ work search documentation each week to verify work search activity. If work search claims are found to be fraudulent, the department will stop a claimant’s benefits immediately and can suspend payments for eight weeks.
Claimants are required to conduct three work searches each week. A valid work search activity is considered any of the following:
Registering at www.jobs4tn.gov and applying for jobs online
Completing a job application in person or online
Mailing a job application and/or resume, as instructed in a public notice
Making in-person visits with employers who may have job openings
Sending job applications to employers
Interviewing with potential employers in person or by telephone
Registering for work with private employment agencies, placement services or hiring unions
Using the employment resources available at Tennessee Career Centers that may lead directly to a job
Attending job search seminars, career networking meetings, job fairs or employment-related workshops that offer instruction in improving individual skills for obtaining employment
Claimants who don’t receive guidance and work search logs in the mail can find information both on the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Internet site at www.tn.gov/labor-wfd or at the nearest Tennessee Career Center. For Career Center locations visit http://www.tn.gov/labor-wfd/cc/cccounty.shtml.