A Miami Workers Center complained that the Florida Unemployment Compensation (Reemployment Assistance) Program was inaccessible to people with disabilities and those with limited English skills. In August 2011, the state moved to end phone and paper applications. Its online application has a 45-question skill assessment of math, reading and other skills. A 56-page DOL finding said this violates federal law. (Imagine, 56 pages to say a 45 question test is unfair? We know all about Florida Unemployment insanity long ago.)
A state spokesperson said the DOL was aware of the legislative changes before their 2011 passage and raised no objection, but a different DOL division is now challenging the same laws, in response to questionable allegations of a special interest group. The DOL suggested exceptions to online filing for those with language barriers, sending notices to people to apply for retroactive benefits and providing special methods for persons with disabilities.
The state can negotiate voluntary compliance and a conciliation agreement. If it does not, the DOL can enter a final ruling that can disrupt federal funds for Florida. Now that would involve the ultmate in Florida unemployment insanity.