U.S. Department of Labor expanding unemployment benefits eligibility


WASHINGTON (WIVB) — More Americans will soon be eligible for unemployment benefits.

The U.S. Labor Department is issuing a new order. It’s expanding eligibility to include people who’ve turned down job offers because they felt the employers weren’t doing enough to protect workers from COVID.

Officials with the department say that Americans shouldn’t have to choose between safety and putting food on the table.

“Today’s announcement means that the assembly line worker, who is receiving unemployment benefits, and then lost them when she declined to return to an unsafe workplace, she’ll now be eligible.”

Susan Levine, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor

The labor department is also expanding eligibility to include school workers who lost their jobs or had their work hours cut due to virtual learning.

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