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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Military spouses forced to quit their jobs when their husbands or wives are transferred will have a little less to worry about thanks to a change in unemployment laws. On Friday, Tennessee Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development announced they will now be eligible for unemployment benefits.
“This expansion of eligibility for unemployment is the right thing to do in supporting Tennessee’s military families whom are often affected by military transfers,” said Davis.
Normally, she explained, voluntarily quitting a job precludes someone from collecting unemployment. Employers too will be protected from the higher taxes normally associated with the approval of benefits for an employee who was laid off.
“This is a tangible way to show our support and gratitude to our veterans, and I’m humbled to have the opportunity to do so,” said State Rep. Joe Pitts (D-Clarksville)
Pitts and state Senator Tim Barnes (D-22nd Dist.) sponsored the bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Bill Haslam in April. Claimants had to wait until July, though, for the $278,000 in appropriations to become available. The funding comes from the General Fund rather than the Unemployment Trust Fund.
Tennessee is the 40th state to allow benefits for spouses.
"With the passage of unemployment benefits for military spouses, Tennessee became the twelfth state in the nation to attain all of the Department of Defense's desired outcomes regarding military spouses,” said Sen. Barnes. “I am proud that Tennessee is leading the way in showing how our military families should be treated."
The Dept. of Labor & Workforce Development expects more than 70 families to take advantage of the benefits during this fiscal year.