Maryland State Court says the Governor can’t cut off unemployment benefits

July 6 – As you drive basically anywhere now-a-days all you see is hiring signs – some of which offer as much as $18 an hour to start.

To start!

One coffee chain in this area has a sign that says they will pay $20 an hour. That’s more than $40,000 a year to pour coffee.

Economists are saying the unemployment benefits offered for COVID relief – which will continue through September of this year – are largely to blame for the lack of workers…anywhere.

Businesses all over are feeling the hurt because they can’t find employees.

People don’t want to go out and work. They’d rather sit on their couch, watch Netflix and collect the unemployment benefits.

Well, some state governors are saying enough is enough and they’re cutting off the federal unemployment benefits as a way to get workers back to work.

Three days ago a Baltimore Circuit Court Judge blocked Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s order to end the federal unemployment benefits, saying there was a contractual agreement between the federal government and the citizens that these benefits would go through September.

The court also said that the plaintiffs showed that they would have a substantial, irreparable harm if the benefits were taken away before September.

The case is definitely on appeal and the decision will likely come out this week.

Attorney Clint Barkdoll, Pat Ryan and Michele Jansen discussed this issue this morning during the Big Talk on First News.

Barkdoll said, “Interestingly, this is the only state where a court has overturned the governor’s authority to cut it off. In all the other states that have done this, the cutoff has remained in effect. This is certainly a loss for the business community because small businesses…need workers back into these jobs to get things up and running again.”

Ryan wondered, “Why didn’t they bake into the contract in the event of A or B we’re going to send you back to work?”

Barkdoll said, “I think it was an oversight. Look at the now hiring signs. To me that was just a real example that amplifies this point. They are struggling so much to get people to fill these jobs they have to keep bumping the wage up and they’re still not getting the people to fill positions because they’re drawing this bonus unemployment.”

Small business owners are already anticipating a greater workforce come September. Indeed, some are closed until after Labor Day because they can’t fill jobs for the summer.

Jansen pointed out, “I’m a little suspicious that this particular judge is taken in by….I’m going to say it….Critical Race Theory because of some of the comments he made in this he talks about the unevenness of the suffering of illness and looking at his background you can sort of see how he might fit into that category. I’m suspicious of that. When he says about irreparable harm, what about the irreparable harm to small businesses, some of which have to close because they cannot get enough workers to come in? Why does that irreparable harm not count? This is not a private thing. This is government. This is taxpayer money and it’s being wasted and abused. Isn’t it the government’s job to stop waste and abuse? This idea of holding it to some kind of contractual thing seems hollow to me.”

Barkdoll said, “I agree. The contractual thing is odd to me because there is no contract in place here. Yes the government made the announcement that the bonus unemployment would go through September but I think all of us realize the government giveth and taketh away as the saying goes. They’re not obligated to fulfill these things. That to me is somewhat of an odd argument. Then it pivots into this side of the substantial and irreparable harm. An appeals court may disagree with this decision. Some of these issues seem very subjective that this judge ruled on. I would not be surprised this week if this gets into the higher level it may get before a panel of judges, if they rule the government always has the authority to cut off a benefit’s program. There’s no contractual obligation to keep it going.”