weather icon Mostly Clear
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

Sisolak order eases hiring in unemployment department

Updated May 11, 2020 - 9:42 am

CARSON CITY – Gov. Steve Sisolak on Monday eased requirements for hiring at the state’s overtaxed unemployment agency to help it “onboard more staff quickly to help bring insurance benefits to more Nevadans faster,” the governor said in a statement announcing the move.

The emergency directive gives the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation flexibility to hire contract staff, including temporary workers and former or retired employees, on a noncompetitive basis to help process unemployment claims.

“I have heard stories from many Nevadans who are experiencing issues trying to process claims, and our staff at DETR has been working as quickly as possible to process the unprecedented number of claims,” Sisolak said.

The enhanced hiring flexibility lasts through the end of the year. Without the directive, the agency would have to fill positions based on merit through the usual civil service hiring process.

The agency needs more staff not only to process current claims but also to help roll out the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program enacted in March under the federal CARES Act, which will extend benefits to independent contractors and gig workers.

“We are optimistic this directive will provide the flexibility we need to hire staff in support of all facets of the (unemployment insurance) and CARES Act processes,” agency director Heather Korbulic said in a statement. “We will work expeditiously in the hiring and training of staff engaged under this directive, so we can get benefits to Nevadans in a timelier fashion.“

Some 440,000 Nevadans, more than one-quarter of the state’s total labor force, have filed for unemployment since the start of the year. The state’s official unemployment rate is 22 percent, the highest ever.

Contact Capital Bureau reporter Bill Dentzer at bdentzer@reviewjournal.com. Follow @DentzerNews on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Juneteenth holiday advances to Assembly

Lawmakers in the Assembly will soon be asked to consider a bill that would make Juneteenth a state holiday after a committee approved the legislation Wednesday morning.