Fired SC workers denied benefits under bill

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Workers fired for misconduct would be unable to collect any unemployment benefits under legislation advanced by a Senate panel.

A Senate Labor Commerce and Industry subcommittee on Wednesday approved a bill that would automatically deny benefits for misconduct. Currently, the state's unemployment agency reduces workers' benefits between five and 20 weeks, depending on the type of misconduct and severity.

The Department of Employment and Workforce paid out $50 million in unemployment benefits last fiscal year to fired workers.

Anderson Sen. Kevin Bryant says not paying that money would cut employers' unemployment insurance costs.

State law says workers fired for gross misconduct such as theft can't receive the benefits. But senators heard about a case in which a fired worker received some weeks of pay despite multiple examples of gross misconduct.

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