Bill to make workers prove unemployment eligibility advances

March 13, 2013

A state Senate committee has passed a bill that would change the way workers apply for unemployment. 

The Arizona Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Energy, and Military approved the measure Wednesday. It would require unemployed people to prove they’d been fired before they could get unemployment benefits.

Supporters say it would stop people who quit a job from unlawfully collecting benefit checks. Opponents of the bill argue it would make it hard for unemployed workers to receive the benefits they’re entitled to, and that employees don’t always have proof they were fired.

The U.S. Labor Department has warned the move may face a legal challenge, since federal law says states have to verify unemployment claims -- not the applicants or their former employers.

The bill now awaits debate in the full Senate. It passed the House last month.