South Carolina DEW asking employers to submit refusal to work claims

Grand Strand

CAROLINA FOREST, S.C. (WBTW) — The state is dedicating a “recall taskforce” to help with the hiring shortage in the Grand Strand.

The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce said it can’t do that without refusal claims from employers.

The department said it will focus on people who have received extended benefits for the majority of the pandemic. Officials said refusal claims will be looked over to see if an employee’s explanation for not taking a job is legitimate.

“We know that there is a talent pool of unemployment claimants right now with a lot of opportunity right in front of them,” said Kimberly Burke, SC DEW Regional Manager of Employment Services.

However, many businesses are having a hard time filling positions.

“We have people that schedule interviews and not show up,” said Drew Doss, the manager of Tavern in the Forest. “We have [people] show up for interviews, accept positions and don’t show up for their first shift.”

SC DEW said it wants to know about every refusal. It said people who are receiving unemployment benefits due to the pandemic are expected to accept appropriate work.

“Its got to be a very unique circumstance for someone to turn down a suitable offer to work and still continue to receive benefits,” Burke said.

The state is asking employers to submit refusals in it’s online portal. While employers may not know if an applicant is receiving benefits, officials said the unemployment sector will.

“Is that a big ask for an employer? Absolutely,” Burke said. “But if we don’t know, we can’t take action.”

The recall taskforce will look over refusal claims. Burke said that if someone denies a proper offer, they will lose their benefits.

“We’re not stripping benefits just to strip benefits,” she said. “We’re saying there is opportunity and this is a great time to transition off of those benefits.”

In the meantime, hospitality workers are asking customers for patience.

“Everybody’s tired. A lot of my staff is working six, seven days a week trying to maintain our offerings,” Doss said.

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