Florida employees of New World Travel Inc. reported a 12 -week interruption of state unemployment benefits issued through the states short-time compensation program.
The company’s Aventura, Florida offices reported sweeping cancelations of tours booked by European travelers to Canada and United States forced
the company to cut hours by nearly half.
The company serves mostly German speaking families and much of the staff is originally from Germany.
“As you can imagine it’s still dead,” New World’s HR manager Janine Geisel told News 6, ” So we had to cut the hours .”
The hours for staff have been cut to 24 hours a week because of the unexpected drop in travel business.
The employees applied for the short time compensation program designed to help companies retain “their workforce in times of temporary slowdown.”
Geisel told News 6 the slowdown has been devastating with every tour cancelled “until the end of the year.”
“All the people who were supposed to be here in March of course couldn’t because of the travel ban so everything got cancelled,” Geisel said.
Geisel told News 6 she was born in Black Forrest located in the mountain region of Southwestern, Germany.
Employees based in Florida asked Geisel to contact News 6 after they had viewed a Make Ends Meet report that led to the correction of a resident’s DEO account after he had been denied unemployment benefits for weeks.
“The state benefits are a mess to be honest,” Geisel told News 6,” They (DEO) kept telling us its an issue they’ve never seen before, they don’t know why all those weeks disappeared.”
Payments for every week between May and July are not listed in the weekly benefits pay out.
According to Geisel all 7-employees has struggled financially because of the payment void.
“we even had one person go back to Germany because she needed financial help and couldn’t pay the bills,” she said.
News 6 presented the case to the DEO’s Tallahassee office to have the employee accounts reviewed.
Paige Landrum the DEO’s Press Secretary told News 6 the “Reemployment Assistance team is taking a look at it.”
Landrum said the story provides the perfect backdrop to explain the Short-Time Compensation program.
In a statement to News 6 Landrum explained: . “To avoid total layoff of some employees, the Short-Time Compensation program permits prorated Reemployment Assistance benefits to employees whose work hours and earnings are reduced as part of a Short-Time Compensation plan. Additional information on the Short-Time Compensation program can be found by clicking or tapping here.
If you have an unemployment benefits issue email News 6: [email protected]
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