Iowa unemployment claims

School district refused to let domestic-abuse victim return to work

BY: - June 13, 2021

An Iowa school district acted unreasonably when it refused to let a teacher who had been the victim of domestic abuse return to work without first seeking counseling. The school district’s actions resulted in the teacher losing pay and employment, even though she posed no threat to anyone at the school, the judge found. Mara […]

Federal unemployment benefits end today. What does that mean for Iowans?

BY: - June 12, 2021

James Kennedy, a Mount Vernon musician, said the end of Iowa’s federal unemployment benefits feels almost like “blackmail.” “This decision … to withdraw literally forces people to go back to work in a very unsafe environment,” Kennedy said. “I find that very life-threatening.”  Kennedy and his wife, Catherine Lawson-Kennedy, lead the Heart Consort Music group. […]

Care-facility worker who contracted COVID-19 not entitled to jobless benefits, judge says

BY: - June 1, 2021

An Iowa woman who contracted COVID-19 while working in a treatment facility where residents ignored face-mask requirements is not entitled to state unemployment benefits, an Iowa judge has ruled. Since 2015, Erin Phillips had worked as a substance abuse counselor in a residential treatment facility run by Trinity Medical Center. Due to the pandemic, Trinity required […]

County prosecutor accused of insulting judges and making sexually charged remarks

BY: - May 6, 2021

Editor’s note: This story contains language that may be offensive to some readers. A Wapello County criminal prosecutor is accused of making sexually charged comments to employees and making denigrating comments about the judges he faced in court. The allegations against Wapello County Attorney Reuben Neff were made by Tanvi Yenna, who worked in Neff’s […]

Iowa has logged 37,000 fraudulent claims for unemployment during the pandemic

BY: - May 4, 2021

Iowa has fielded at least 37,000 fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to state officials. That works out to more than 87 fraudulent claims filed each day of the pandemic. Those claims are tied specifically to identity theft, wherein people have filed claims pretending to be real Iowans who may […]

Cupcake decorator fired for running over ex-husband’s girlfriend wins jobless benefits

BY: - April 30, 2021

A cupcake decorator who was fired from her job after running over her ex-husband’s girlfriend is entitled to unemployment benefits, a judge has ruled. Marilyn Meron, 31, of Waterloo, was employed as a decorator at the city’s Scratch Cupcakery outlet last year, icing cupcakes and other baked goods in the business’ kitchen. On Sept. 10, […]

Suspected hospice whistleblower hit with retaliation after a state inspection, judge finds

BY: - April 29, 2021

An Iowa hospice company retaliated against an alleged whistleblower suspected of reporting patient-care concerns to state regulators, a judge has ruled. According to state records, Judith Belcher had worked for Heartland Hospice Services of Davenport as a full-time medical social worker for four years before her termination in December 2020. At times, Belcher was providing […]

Senate committee advances bill that would delay unemployment-benefit payouts

BY: - April 28, 2021

Legislation that would delay the payout of unemployment benefits to jobless Iowans moved forward Wednesday in the Iowa Senate. The Senate Ways and Means Committee advanced Senate Study Bill 1273 on a 10-5, party-line vote. The bill would revise Iowa’s unemployment-benefit law, in part by imposing a one-week delay on the initial collection of benefits […]

Hostility, harassment forced high school football coach to quit, then leave small Iowa town

BY: - April 21, 2021

Hostility and harassment from an assistant coach and football fans drove a high school coach to not only resign but move his family out of his tiny central Iowa community, according to state records. Shaen Polasky resigned from the West Central Valley Community School District as head football coach in the fall of 2019, and […]

Iowa man fired for wearing a ‘DEMOTED’ face mask collects jobless benefits

BY: - April 16, 2021

An Iowa man who showed up for work at a pawn shop while wearing a face mask that said “DEMOTED” is entitled to unemployment benefits, a judge has ruled. Jason McComas had worked for EZ Pawn Iowa for several years when he was demoted in July 2020 as part of a corporate restructuring that involved […]

Iowa judge: Mask policy didn’t violate worker’s religious rights

BY: - February 2, 2021

An Iowa judge has denied unemployment benefits for a dental technician who cited religious reasons for refusing to wear a face mask intended to help slow the spread of coronavirus. State records indicate Kelly C. Jones lost her job last year at Cloak Dental Labs of Williamsburg after a series of conflicts with her boss […]

Unemployment claims continue downward trend in Iowa

BY: - January 21, 2021

The number of new unemployment claims filed in Iowa decreased again last week, as did the number of claims related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Iowa Workforce Development reported Thursday that for the week ending Jan. 16, there were 6,785 new claims for unemployment benefits filed, a decrease of 581 from last week’s adjusted numbers. The […]