It is no surprise to anyone when they hear how difficult it is for local businesses to find people willing to work.

Employee shortages are leading to shorter business hours, complete closure days and slower customer service. To add to the frustration, the number of no-shows for scheduled job interviews is going off the charts. With that in mind, the state of Montana is stepping in to try to hold supposed job seekers more accountable.

Governor Greg Gianforte announced a new process for Montana employers to notify the Montana Department of Labor & Industry if an unemployment insurance claimant fails to appear for a scheduled interview.

Employers across the state share a common complaint: applications submitted for open positions, getting a scheduled interview, then skipping out on it. It all adds up to a tremendous and unproductive imposition on employers' time. A great example given was  restaurants saying they will schedule half a dozen interviews or more on a given day, and have only a single applicant actually show up, if any at all.

Montana's new process hopes to cut down on wasted time for Montana businesses and ensure unemployment benefit claimants are adhering to program rules. Montana law requires claimants to make an active, good-faith effort to secure employment every week benefits are claimed. Scheduling an interview to complete a weekly work search requirement, but then failing to appear for that interview, may violate program rules and impact that person's eligibility to receive benefits.

Yes, policy makers acknowledge there are legitimate reasons that scheduled interviews are missed. But if that was the rule, there wouldn't be a need for new policy in place to help fight fraud. Montana employers are encouraged to notify the Montana Department of Labor and Industry if an unemployment insurance claimant fails to appear for a scheduled interview.

 

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