By Southern Torch Staff (Photo by Stefani Reynolds, AP)
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) has joined two of his Senate colleagues in introducing the "Back to Work Bonus Act," a bill aimed at providing a "hiring bonus" of sorts to unemployed workers who gain employment from now through July 1, 2021.
Tuberville joins Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch of Idaho, who both hail from the first state to implement a return to work bonus program last summer. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, introduced identical legislation in the House.
"Alabama businesses are now open, which is great news after a year of uncertainty caused by COVID-19," said Tuberville. "Unfortunately, now many employers are competing with padded unemployment benefits that encourage Americans to stay home and live off the government rather than going back to work to provide for themselves. This legislation incentivizes those on the sidelines to safely return to work and add fuel to an economy that continues to gain steam.”
According to tuberville.senate.gov, the bill would provide a one-time back-to-work bonus in the amount of $1,200 for full-time employment and $600 for part-time employment. To receive a bonus, an individual's employer must verify their hours and earnings. In addition, the bill accelerates a funding increase for Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessments (RESEA), expands the pool of eligible workers to include those receiving COVID-19-related benefits, and reinstates the federal work search requirement for those who currently draw unemployment.
A full summary of the legislation is available here.