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Unemployment checks less likely for seasonal workers

Posted on June 8th, 2012 Read time: 1 minutes

Seasonal workers may soon suffer the same fate as athletes and school teachers, as more states are cracking down on their ability to receive unemployment benefits after the season they work has ended, CNN Money reports.

Under federal law, professional athletes and school teachers cannot get paid unemployment benefits during their offseasons (i.e. winter for Major League Baseball players, summer for teachers). But for other seasonal or contract workers such as lifeguards, bus drivers and ballet dancers, the checks they had been receiving during non-work months may soon come to a halt.

Federal law gives each state the option to deny seasonal workers benefits, and about 15 states already take liberties in doing so. Yet as more states try to save money and "rescue insolvent jobless funds," explains the news source, the crackdown may soon spread across the country.

In New Jersey, for example, a bill was introduced that would require the state to identify specific seasonal industries that operate nine months out of the year or less and deny workers in those industries offseason unemployment benefits.

"This bill alters benefit eligibility conditions for unemployment insurance for certain seasonal workers," states the legislation, as quoted by Shore News Today. 

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