State seeks to claw back unemployment payments to BSU staffers

The state Department of Labor is trying to claw back unemployment benefits paid to hundreds of furloughed Boise State University employees.

As of Thursday, 64 university employees filed appeals, and nearly all of them were successful, James Dawson of Boise State Public Radio reported Monday.

The snafu dates back to the spring, when Boise State ordered furloughs affecting staff members making more than $40,000 a year. Staffers were expected to take the furloughs by July.

Employees were told they could offset the financial hit from the furloughs by filing for unemployment. But the Labor Department said Boise State staffers were not eligible for unemployment, Dawson reported. Department Director Jani Revier pointed to a clause in state law, which says university employees cannot file for unemployment over summer break, if there is a reasonable chance they will be able to return to work after the break.

Boise State President Marlene Tromp argued that the furloughed staffers were eligible for unemployment, since they are full-time employees who work 12 months of the year, Dawson reported.

As Dawson noted in his report, the unemployment issue affects Boise State Public Radio employees, who are considered university staffers.


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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