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Manufacturing workers get easier access to Michigan unemployment benefits

Workers off the job for retooling, parts shortage or production slowdown won’t need to search for a new job
Whitmer signing Senate Bill 757
Whitmer signing Senate Bill 757(WLUC)
Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 4:41 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Manufacturing workers laid off temporarily will get easier access to unemployment benefits under a new law Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed on Monday.

Senate Bill 501 waives the requirement for workers laid off due to a manufacturing shutdown to look for a new job so they qualify for benefits. The previous law required workers to complete search activities when they were off the job for 45 days or less.

Workers laid off for a plant retooling, parts shortage or production volume change can skip the work search requirements. The law change would apply to automotive workers off the job due to continue semiconductor shortages.

“Manufacturing workers are the backbone of Michigan’s economy,” said Whitmer. “This bill will help Michigan come back to work stronger than ever by ensuring that skilled manufacturing workers can stick with their employers during a temporary manufacturing shutdown, such as the shutdown caused by the global chip shortage.”

Republican State Sen. Ken Horn of Frankenmuth sponsored the bill to help manufacturers retain employees during prolonged shutdowns, which often aren’t their fault.

“The global chip shortage is a huge hurdle for our manufacturers and their employees right now,” he said. “With my bill, workers on extended layoff are protected and manufacturers aren’t losing their workforce before they can begin production again.”

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