Fans of HRSBT know we run lots of stories about people working while collecting unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. But in a “fox watching the coup” scenario, the Washington Post reported that 92 currently employed workers were paid over $800,000 in jobless benefits over the past 3 years. What’s unusual about that? They were all employees of the District of Columbia!
After a review of city records in February turned up the possible double dipping, Mayor Vincent Gray ordered that the employees be suspended pending an investigation into whether any of the cases involved fraudulent behavior.
Unfortunately, the investigation turned up even more cases, pushing the number into the hundreds, plus another 40 cases of workers who had left their jobs with the District during this period.
The UI payments ranged from a few hundred to almost $20,000 per employee, according to the story, which also quotes the District’s director of Department of Employment Services as saying she has committed resources to audits and cross-checks to ascertain who got what and to prevent this from happening again. She also stated that recouping the money was a priority.
Citing personnel policies, the District has withheld details on those who accepted the improper payments, according to the article. While some employees have paid the money back, and some employees accepted disciplinary suspensions, other cases have been turned over to the District attorney general.
The article also states that Mayor Gray’s administration is now requiring that employees sign an ethics pledge.
Do you have a wacky workplace? Tell your tale!