I started to hear rumors that the 31,000 state of Michigan employees who will be furloughed 2 days a pay period or 1 day a week will not only be able to collect unemployment, even though they are employed but also the $600 dollars the federal government is contributing per week.

I just could not believe it until I reached out to people in Michigan government and they sent me a MIRS (Michigan Information and Research Service) article that stated:

“The state's participation in the federal work share program -- which will involve doling out the $600 per week to the 31,000 state employees who have to take one day off each week through at least July -- is completely federally funded, said Tiffany Brown, spokesperson for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.”

The MIRS article then gave us the following example:

“For instance, a state worker who makes $50,000 a year would lose $384.62 in wages for every pay period due to the two fewer days. After removing a federal unemployment insurance benefit offset, that goes down to $240.62 in lost wages per pay period.

Two weeks of the federal unemployment benefit would equate to $1,200, and once the $240 in lost wages is removed from that amount, the net benefit every pay period for this hypothetical employee would be $959.38 every pay period, which goes beyond the $384.62 in lost wages.”

What this means is the approximately 31,000 furloughed state employees will be making $760 dollars for each day they are furloughed.  I come up with that number by taking the minimum unemployment amount of $160.00 a week Michigan pays and added the $600 weekly amount kicked in by the Federal government.  If a person was to be paid $760 per 260 working days a year their salary would be $197,600 a year.

Whitmer states by furloughing these state employees she is saving $80 million in our state budget, but at what cost to us nationally?  If Michigan is saving $80 million but our Federal government is giving Michigan furloughed employees $600 a day for every day they are furloughed the cost must be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Thanks, Gretchen.

Is this what the $600 a week contributed by the federal government for unemployed workers was supposed to be used for?  I am not saying that Whitmer is doing anything illegal it just is not right and it is the federal government's oversight that caused this problem.  This cash windfall is not just for state employees but also for private industry.  I have not heard of any private companies to date that is using this cash give away by our federal government by furloughing their people for one day a week.  If I do I certainly will let you know.  The state government and any private company that does take this up could furlough their people for 4 days in one week thus still able to receive the $600 for one week instead of 4 weeks.

Whitmer’s spokeswoman Tiffany Brown said:

"state employees are real people too with families to support just as anyone else whose work has been impacted, and this is a federal program being utilized -- at no cost to the state -- that the federal government has made available to every state to help with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic."

I understand that but being laid-off or furloughed should not allow you to make up to 400% more than you were making on your job.  Tiffany, does that sound right to you?

I hear that the approximately 19,000 state of Michigan employees who are not furloughed are now angry with the Governor for not furloughing them so they can partake in this cash lottery win.

I am still perplexed on how someone who is employed either by the state or in the private industry can collect unemployment.

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