I am writing to urge your support for HB 1445, an important piece of legislation to modernize our state's unemployment insurance laws. This bill is being heard in the House Labor and Workplace Standards Committee this week. I cannot be at the hearing in-person, but I wanted to send a message of support along to committee members.
There are moments in life where family must come first and you shouldn't be denied unemployment because of it. But Washington's current unemployment laws don't reflect the caregiving roles that many working people take on in our families nor do they set reasonable standards for working parents struggling to find childcare. Under current law, the state requires many workers to be "able and available to work" 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in order to receive unemployment insurance. This just isn't possible for working parents or those taking care of sick family members.
Unemployment insurance is something a lot of us don't think about until we need it most. These benefits are a critical safety net for families who need a stop-gap between jobs. Just ten years ago, our nation fell into one of the worst economic disasters in history. Millions of families depended on unemployment insurance to help get them by. While the economy is in recovery today, another recession could always be around the corner. It's critical that the laws overseeing our unemployment insurance system reflect the realities of working families.
Please use your voice and your vote in committee to support HB 1445. Thank you for all that you do!