State launches new process for employers when unemployment claimants fail to show for interviews

Gov. Greg Gianforte said July 20 that the state has launched a new process for employers to notify the Montana Department of Labor and Industry if an unemployment insurance claimant fails to appear for a scheduled interview.

“We’ve recently heard from employers across the state with a common complaint: candidates for open positions submit applications and schedule interviews, only to skip out on it,” Gianforte said in a release. “This new process established by Commissioner Esau will cut down on wasted time for Montana small businesses and ensure UI claimants are adhering to program rules.”

Montana law requires UI 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 UI program rules, according to the release.

DLI Commissioner Laurie Esau said, “Some restaurants have said they scheduled half a dozen interviews or more on a given day and had only a single applicant actually show up – if any at all. To be sure, there are plenty of legitimate reasons why an applicant misses an interview. Many of the individuals who skip out on an interview may not even be UI claimants at all. But if a UI claimant is scheduling an interview to complete his or her work search requirements, and then fails to make a good-faith effort to appear and obtain a job offer, that may impact his or her eligibility for UI benefits going forward.”

Employers who submit information about declined or missed interviews may be contacted by fraud investigators for more information, but the outcome of the audit remains between the claimant and the department, according to the governor’s office.

UI claimants should consult the Claimant Handbook to ensure they remain in compliance with work search requirements.

If an individual is receiving UI benefits and refuses an official offer of work, it may impact their ability to continue receiving benefits, according to the governor’s office, and employers are encouraged to notify UI and complete the Refusal of Work Report form and return it to uieservices@mt.gov or log on to UI eServices for Employers and attach it to a secure web message.