The Law and Politics of the Enforcement of Federal Standards for the Administration of Unemployment Insurance Hearings

Unemployment insurance claimants are entitled to have state unemployment programs administered in accordance with federal standards, which include the provision of prompt and fair hearings for claimants if their applications for benefits are denied. Violations of these rights are widespread, but the United States Department of Labor’s Unemployment Insurance Service has never brought a formal proceeding to enforce the federal standards of administration. This Article explains why enforcement of the federal standards is needed and why it has not been provided and suggests methods by which advocates for claimants can seek to enforce federal standards in the face of this failure by the federal agency.