An estimated 50 million Americans have filed unemployment claims since the start of the pandemic. That’s roughly one in five workers collecting unemployment benefits and navigating a labyrinthine system to do so. What does this all mean for American workers, especially now that additional federal benefits have expired?
Today, we discuss this topic in-depth with labor attorney Victor Forberger, covering issues like the history of Wisconsin’s unemployment program, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and discrimination against employees with disabilities, wage stagnation and recession in Wisconsin, and the problems with how Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) has been administered.
Victor Forberger is a Madison-based attorney who specializes in labor, employment, and unemployment cases and maintains the blog Wisconsin Unemployment. He currently serves as the supervising attorney for the Unemployment Compensation Appeals Clinic and volunteers with Madison Area Job Transition.
Photo by Dorothea Lange via The New York Public Library on Unsplash. 1938: Unemployment benefits aid begins. Line of men inside a division office of the State Employment Service office at San Francisco, California, waiting to register for benefits on one of the first days the office was open.