97690520

Ariz. House approves unemployment changes

The Arizona House of Representatives has approved a bill that shifts to workers the burden of proving they’re eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.

Republican state Rep. Warren Petersen of Gilbert argued his bill prevents people from collecting benefits when they’re not eligible while employers fight their claims. Democrats argued it puts federal funding of the state’s program in jeopardy.

The bill requires workers to present documents showing they’re eligible when filing for unemployment insurance benefits.

Democratic state Rep. Debbie McCune Davis of Phoenix says most employment lawyers tell clients not to put anything in writing when letting workers go. That means workers can’t prove they deserve benefits without a long wait.

The bill also lets employers simply say a worker voluntarily resigned or quit.

It now goes to the Senate.