Governor Planning to Hire an ‘Army’ of COVID-19 Contact Tracers While Labor Department Does Not Have Enough Manpower, Causing Financial Distress for Families
Senator Christopher Connors, Assemblyman Brian Rumpf, and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove are calling on the Murphy Administration to provide the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development with the necessary resources to process unemployment claims.
Connors, Rumpf & Gove are calling on the Murphy Administration to provide the Labor Department with the necessary resources to process unemployment claims. (SenateNJ.com)
“Recently, Governor Murphy stated his intentions to recruit and deploy an ‘army’ of contact tracers for COVID-19 cases even as the curve is flattening. While the Governor may see this as being ahead of the curve, what desperate residents want to hear is that an ‘army’ of employees are going to be hired or assigned to the Department of Labor so their unemployment claims will finally be processed.
“Thousands of our constituents have gone up to six weeks or longer without having their claims processed through no fault of their own. These people just want to put food on their tables for their family and stop wearing out their already maxed-out credit cards.
“Our District Office has worked diligently with constituents to have their claims resolved but there are simply too many cases and little to no answers from the Department of Labor. It’s extremely frustrating, but despite everything our office tries to do to assist constituents, in the end, only the Department of Labor can file the claims.
“Yes, we understand that the Department of Labor is inundated, as the COVID-19 outbreak has caused an unprecedented number of unemployment filings. We certainly empathize with the incredible strain of the Department’s employees based on the caseload of our District Office.
“However, it’s highly evident that the Department of Labor is not being provided with the necessary resources as the Administration’s attention seems to be directed elsewhere. Unacceptably, this has created a financial crisis for too many families who deserve better from their government.
“In addition to gearing up to hire an ‘army’ of contact tracers, the state’s overriding priority should be ensuring that residents who’ve lost their livelihoods during a pandemic can stand in line at the local grocery store as opposed to the local food bank.
“Most of these residents who are still waiting for their unemployment claims to be processed have paid into the system for years, if not decades. They should not be in the position of having to beg for money from their own government that, as taxpaying citizens, they are completely entitled to.”
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