State Senator Joseph Griffo is urging the State Department of Labor to take action to get people back to work and help struggling businesses.

Griffo was joined on Thursday by representatives from the local business community at Spressos Coffee House in Rome.

He says the enhanced federal unemployment benefit providing $300 a week to those who are eligible is making it difficult for employers to fill open positions or have their employees return to work.

Griffo says more than two dozen states have announce that they will end enhanced federal COVID-19 unemployment benefits early.  Others are offering one-time financial incentives and payments to unemployed workers who accept a job.

The extra payment is expected to continue in New York state through September 5.

The Senator offered several suggestions that would help the state address the issue.

That includes dropping the enhanced federal benefit and/or offering financial incentives like other states are doing.

Griffo has also introduced legislation that would provide an incentive for employees to return to work by having the state subsidize the difference between their pay for work and the amount they were earning while unemployed.

It would only take place during this designated pandemic period.

“From accessibility problems to identify theft to overpayments, the state Department of Labor and the state’s unemployment system has continued to be plagued by issues, challenges and problems during the coronavirus pandemic,” Griiffo said. “While I recognize that COVID-19 has created significant economic hardships for New Yorkers and their families, I believe my legislation will get people back to work, help struggling businesses and companies and save the state money.”

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