Iowa unemployment

Jobless Iowans who contracted COVID-19 continue to be denied unemployment benefits

BY: - June 29, 2021

Iowans forced out of work after being sickened by COVID-19 continue to be denied unemployment benefits by the state, while those who voluntarily quit their jobs due to the risk of contracting the virus are collecting benefits. Under Iowa law, workers can often collect state unemployment benefits after quitting a job due to intolerable or […]

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 […]

Reynolds urges Iowans to ‘lean further into normal,’ return to work

BY: - May 12, 2021

Gov. Kim Reynolds encouraged Iowans to “lean further into normal” after a year of COVID-19 closures, restrictions and precautions.  “There’s no reason for us to continue to fear COVID-19 any longer,” Reynolds said. “We know how to manage it. Individuals can be trusted to make decisions that will keep us on a path forward.” At […]

Extra unemployment benefits will end in June, Reynolds orders

BY: - May 11, 2021

Unemployed Iowans will lose their extra $300 per week benefit and other federal pandemic unemployment assistance in June, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Tuesday. “Federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs initially provided displaced Iowans with crucial assistance when the pandemic began,” Reynolds said in a press release. “But now that our businesses and schools have reopened, these […]

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 […]

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 […]

More than half of new Iowa unemployment cases now unrelated to COVID-19

BY: - April 29, 2021

More than half of Iowa’s new unemployment claims are unrelated to COVID-19, as the state continues to see a steep drop in coronavirus cases. About 50.7% of those filing new unemployment claims for the week of April 24 said their request was not related to COVID-19, Iowa Workforce Development reported. That was up from 41.5% […]

Business leader: Iowa’s population growth ‘not a good spot to be in’

BY: - April 28, 2021

The director of one of Iowa’s major business groups on Wednesday said Iowa’s slow population growth means the fight for workers will be a key issue coming out of the pandemic. “Iowa ranks first in the nation for labor force participation. However, as you all know, when that’s paired with our consistently low unemployment rate, […]

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 […]

Iowan who cited religious beliefs in refusing to wear a mask is denied jobless benefits

BY: - April 14, 2021

An Iowa man who refused to wear a COVID-19 face mask at work because it violated his religious beliefs is not entitled to unemployment benefits, a state judge has ruled. State records indicate that since 2012, Aaron Vulich worked sporadically for Tri-City Electric of Iowa as a communication technician, installing internet networks and other infrastructure […]