Relationship with US DOL

What our partners are saying

  • “How DOL reaches out and the language they use matters. Right now, they only reach out for audits, never see them reach out like NASWA. Having DOL go on NASWA calls will answer a lot of questions. -- State A
  • “[Regional offices have] a lack of people that ever worked in a state UI agency, and I appreciate their empathy and support; I think a huge percent have never worked on a claim before, have never taken a call about a claim before, they don’t know what we’re talking about, they don’t know the process for a UI claim, they never really had to deal with it until this year." --State B
  • "They’ve become like auditors full time at workforce and UI. they don’t have time for anything other than making sure paperwork is correct and we’re meeting metrics. They don’t have time for counseling, outside the box thinking" -- State B
  • “It’s a gamble as a director, do I want to wait for the guidance, or hope I interpret it right? I don’t care where the guidance comes from, I’m not having to go to my governor and say we wasted X Million on doing this the wrong way. It feels like a gamble too often, paying people or waiting to figure out the rules. That’s a bad position all the way around." -- State E
  • "NASWA has done a good job on trying to share info and played a leadership role. What’s good is they are independent of DOL but also composed of people that have leaders who have worked in states and know what it’s like to be in our seat and be helpful and relieve burden. They’ve invested a lot.” --State F


  1. 1.
    US DOL should establish a culture of collaboration with states that reframes existing enforcement relationship
    1. 1.
      Meet with leadership in every state to demonstrate this
    2. 2.
      Provide air cover to state employees to contribute to new and innovative ways of solving challenges -- but also just to do their jobs
    3. 3.
      Work with states on new process to issue guidance iteratively and with input from states
    4. 4.
      Connect states with each other when common problems arise, and work with them to come to solutions.
  2. 2.
    US DOL should update reporting requirements from states to require the submission of a detailed breakdown and calculation of their backlogs to include reasons for entering manual review queues and the effectiveness of the manual review queues in resolving issues
    1. 1.
      Ensure states understand/have the technology support they need to report accurately number of individual claimants
    2. 2.
      Apply best practices (e.g., California report) to develop a national UI dashboard