February 13,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Hackensack NJ , Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi intervenes in a constituents unemployment claim is almost tossed from the building.

According to Schepisi’s Facebook post  , “Over the past two weeks I watched through social media the struggles of Monica Brinson as she attempts to have an unemployment claim fixed. Today I went to the unemployment office to see firsthand how it operates. I almost got physically removed for videotaping the attached but afterwards did get a comprehensive tour and analysis of the good, bad and ugly of these offices. First, the State needs to provide additional personnel. There is currently 1 employee working today in this office to service a county of almost 1 million people. They stopped handing out tickets to see people at number 7. That is right, for the entire day they will only be able to service 7 people. The group of people to the far right in the video against the wall are there to try to reach a live person at the Department of Labor. These are “dedicated phone lines” that are supposed to allow people to reach a human being but the minimum wait time on these phones is in excess of 1 1/2 hours. Many of the people I spoke to this morning wait outside in the cold for upwards of several hours because only 5 people at a time are generally allowed in the building. People will wait for 3-4 hours inside and then find out that they cannot be seen that day. We must find a better way to provide staffing.
On the upside I was provided with a comprehensive tour of the building, including the employment opportunities, the Bergen One-Stop Career Center and the available training programs. In a separate post I will provide some of the resources given to me today.
Finally I am glad that I did not need bail money today. The armed guard with the weapon on his side did tell me that if I continued to hand out my assembly business card to those seeking help that I would be physically removed from the premises. An exciting way to begin a Monday morning.”