Kansas legislators seek quicker fix to labor department’s woes

State legislators expressed displeasure Thursday with timeliness of the response from the Kansas Department of Labor to a record number of fraudulent unemployment claims surfacing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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November 13, 2020 - 3:06 PM

Rep. Jeff Pittman voiced displeasure with the rising number of fraud claims and calls he's received on the issue from community member s in his district. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — State legislators expressed displeasure Thursday with timeliness of the response from the Kansas Department of Labor to a record number of fraudulent unemployment claims surfacing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unemployment fraud has spiked in recent months across the nation, and Kansas has been no exception. This year, KDOL experienced upward of 125,000 of these claims while operating under an outdated computer system. 

The department is currently undergoing the arduous task of modernizing its computer system that manages unemployment benefits, but legislators on the Joint Committee on Information Technology said that does not account for issues Kansans are facing now.

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