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Lawsuit challenging end of pre-pandemic unemployment programs dismissed

Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 5:10 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 13, 2021 at 5:30 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A lawsuit challenging the end of pre-pandemic unemployment programs has been dismissed. The lawsuit challenged the governor’s decision to terminate South Carolina’s participation in optional federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs.

McMaster had ended the states participation after talking with the head of the state department of employment and workforce. The governor said the programs were incentivizing workers to stay at home instead of working.

McMaster says the lawsuit lacked merit from the start and is applauding the court for dismissing the case.

“The Court correctly recognized that this lawsuit lacked merit from the start and appropriately rejected the plaintiffs’ effort to force the State to reenroll in these optional federal unemployment programs,” McMaster said. “I applaud the Court for dismissing this case and declining to reinstate the very payments that helped create the current labor shortage.”

“These supplemental payments were intended to provide short-term assistance to individuals who lost their jobs, through no fault of their own, at the start of the pandemic,” the governor said. “Continuing these supplemental benefits would have converted that emergency aid into a dangerous federal entitlement, incentivizing workers to stay at home rather than applying for one of the over 86,000 open positions in the State of South Carolina. Businesses large and small are fighting to survive and thrive, and they should not have to compete with federal benefits when looking for employees.”

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