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Oregon Employment Department acting director David Gerstenfeld said the department will begin sending out the 1099-G forms, which show how … He said the oldest ones date back to Nov. 18. Kate Brown ousted her over the weekend. Kate Brown asked Director Kay Erickson to resign, appointing Gerstenfeld as interim director. Interim Director David Gerstenfeld took over the department Sunday after Gov. All rights reserved. Erickson oversaw the department as the pandemic hit. The department has struggled to … In December alone, full-service restaurants cut 17,600 jobs, the single largest round of job cuts for any single industry that month. By Carol Ann Benanti ... David Gerstenfeld would join his father in the practice of ophthalmology in 1992 and the father and son … In a call with reporters Wednesday, Gerstenfeld apologized for the department's missteps and committed to being more transparent with Oregonians. david gerstenfeld Oregon unemployment backlog may be larger than previously reported. He then attended medical school at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he achieved the highest academic award, entry into the Alpha Omega Alpha honor medical society. Acting Oregon Employment Department Director David Gerstenfeld said he anticipates at least 51,000 Oregonians could be filing claims in the coming days. Twitter Share. Gerstenfeld said the most recent claims backlog for regular unemployment benefits was about 2,200, most being processed within five days of filing. Acting director David Gerstenfeld’s testimony kicked off several days of hearings on the state’s unemployment crisis. The department now says it’s open to significant changes in light of the unique circumstances created by the pandemic. The Oregon Employment Department … Oregon requires people to wear masks indoors in public settings, like a grocery store, but not in offices. Gerstenfeld said the processing has gotten faster partly because of a new Google-developed application introduced July 17 on an agency website, and partly because many claims are duplicates of previous filings. “Businesses go out of businesses all the time,” Riley said, “but this is an entirely different animal.”, -- Mike Rogoway | mrogoway@oregonian.com | twitter: @rogoway |. The deferments are available to businesses whose unemployment tax rate increased by at least 0.5% in 2021, provided they continue making their regular payroll reports to the state. He also said the extra $300 per week … Dr. David Gerstenfeld received his undergraduate degree from Duke University. Gerstenfeld said out of 52,000 people who required adjudication at the end of September, 41,700 of them remain in the queue. And unless lawmakers act, their costs will continue rising through 2023 because the formula allocates the tax burden over a three-year period. At Thursday’s hearing, committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Riley, D-Hillsboro, said COVID-19 has created an unusual situation for employers that needs to be addressed. On Thursday, though, Gerstenfeld acknowledged that Oregon’s trust fund has lots of money and so the state can consider temporary reductions – and maybe even long-term changes. “We would like the state to step up and not put this burden on businesses.”. “We want to work with business groups, worker groups, to make sure we’re striking the right balance here,” acting director David Gerstenfeld said in his Thursday testimony to the Senate Committee on Labor and Business. Adjudication still a problem for the Oregon Employment Department. Even now, coming off the highest jobless rates in state history, Oregon has adequate funds to continue paying benefits at 2020′s unprecedented levels for at least three more years. David Gerstenfeld was named to replace Kay Erickson after Gov. Thousands have received advance payments through a … Gerstenfeld said that appeal period has not yet expired. He made three proposals: Oregon’s tax formula for unemployment insurance is established in state law, so any changes require action by the Legislature. On Sunday, David Gerstenfeld accepted an unenviable job: director of the state's beleaguered employment agency. “Even with record-setting recessions, two in a row, we have not gone insolvent,” Gerstenfeld said. He also said he anticipates supplemental benefit payments of $300 per week for six weeks — from July 26 through Sept. 5 — will start at the end of September as previously announced. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. © 2021 www.registerguard.com. And from 2011 to 2019, Gerstenfeld ran the division of the agency overseeing unemployment insurance. However, the employment department says it will allow businesses to defer a third of this year’s payments until June 2022 without interest or penalties. August 24, 2020 (Salem, OR)- The Oregon Employment Department is applying for the federal Lost Wages Assistance program. “These layoffs were caused by government action, not because businesses were making decisions about market forces,” Sparks said. That sounds like a simple fix but it wouldn’t help everyone – Gerstenfeld said federal law requires that some employers pay a top tax rate. On Sunday, Gov. By Jamie Goldberg ... Oregon Employment Department director David Gerstenfeld shared the sobering data during a conference call with members of … The payroll taxes went up this year to begin replenishing the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund, which dropped from $5.1 billion to $3.8 billion as Oregon paid out an unprecedented volume of jobless benefits during the first 10 months of the pandemic. The Oregon Employment Department had previously resisted curbs on the payroll taxes that fund jobless benefits. Twitter; YouTube; Instagram ... Acting Director David Gerstenfeld has said that because of the delay in congressional renewal of the programs, the … Before that, he had served as Unemployment Insurance Division … He said people receiving benefits do not need to take further action. He said the agency is speaking with the National Guard about the possibility of getting guard members to help with claims, too. So he said it’s possible the state could set a lower target for the trust fund, resulting in lower tax rates for everyone. Twitter Share. At a briefing on Wednesday, Oregon Employment Department Acting Director David Gerstenfeld said the department had processed 85% of the … Acting Director David Gerstenfeld said the Oregon Employment Department foresees no interruption in payments. Oregon employers, facing three years of sharp increases in unemployment taxes, could get a break under proposals laid out at a Senate committee hearing Thursday. While none of us caused the pandemic, it is my responsibility to ensure we get people the benefits they are entitled to.". Known Locations: Staten Island NY, 10312, Scotch Plains NJ 07076, Staten Island NY 10312 Possible Relatives: Debra A Gerstenfeld, Harriet Gerstenfeld, Jacob S Gerstenfeld We talk with David Gerstenfeld, ... please get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter, send an email to thinkoutloud@opb.org, or you can leave a voicemail for us at 503-293-1983. the formula has heaped nearly all the tax increases on the businesses that can least afford to pay them, The Legislature’s upcoming session is packed. Still, many complex claims require adjudication, which Gerstenfeld said is … On Tuesday, Gerstenfeld reported that 552,600 regular unemployment claims—which include duplicates—have been filed by 538,600 people between March 15 and August 22. The Legislature’s upcoming session is packed with pandemic, wildfire and racial justice proposals. Brown’s budget request includes the $85.6 million that the federal government awarded to the state back in 2009 for the new system. On Sunday, David Gerstenfeld accepted an unenviable job: director of the state's beleaguered employment agency. Around $344 million in such payments have gone to nearly 240,000 people in the state to date, the department reported. He said he wanted to be clear about what the agency's problems are and that the agency wants to recruit volunteers from other government agencies to call people whose claims haven't been processed yet. Nonetheless, many other employers have already required masks among their own staff. On Sunday, David Gerstenfeld accepted an unenviable job: director of the state's beleaguered employment agency. In April, some people were erroneously told to restart their claims. Gerstenfeld said the original target for implementation was mid-December. Acting Director David Gerstenfeld says the Oregon Employment Department foresees a gap in their payments, even if Congress does extend federal benefits to … Prior to becoming interim director, Gerstenfeld ran the agency's division overseeing paid family and medical leave insurance. Most people who were sent the payments by accident, according to Gerstenfeld, may still be able to keep the money if they formally apply for benefits. Others have received confusing or vague letters from the agency. About 22,000 await payment of their waiting-week benefits, down from an estimated 170,000 … The department noted that just months into the pandemic, many other states were already borrowing from the federal government to cover their unemployment benefits – money that must eventually be paid back through higher business taxes. During the pandemic, though, the formula has heaped nearly all the tax increases on the businesses that can least afford to pay them – restaurants, bars, gyms and others who laid off workers when the state shut them down to contain COVID-19. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/21). The state’s tax formula allocates increases to employers who cut the most jobs, reasoning that businesses who lay off their workers should pay the costs of replenishing the trust fund. Please support high-quality local journalism. Roll back prospective payroll tax increases in 2022, recognizing the trust fund has enough money to remain solvent without the added funds. David A Gerstenfeld, age 52, Staten Island, NY 10312 View Full Report. And the agency hasn't been able to put into action an effort by policymakers to get another week of benefits to Oregonians by waiving the typical weeklong waiting period. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. The vast majority of December's job losses stemmed from Oregon's struggling leisure and hospitality industry, which employed some 208,000 people before a wave of pandemic-induced shutdowns hit the state in March 2020.. That would leave the unemployment tax increases in place but reduce the burden on hardest-hit employers by sharing the costs. ... Twitter … But the governor’s office and legislative Democrats said last month they want to take up the issue with unemployment taxes, too. Gerstenfeld said he wasn't able to provide an up-to-date figure of how many people have been paid their benefits, although he said the state has paid out about $1.5 billion to out of work Oregonians in the past two months. David Gerstenfeld is the acting director of the Oregon Employment Department. And it doesn’t appear new legislation would affect the tax increases that took effect in 2021. And since starting a renewed effort to clear a backlog of claims Friday, workers have processed about 16,000 of the 38,000 unresolved claims for regular unemployment insurance benefits, the agency says. “I’ve never heard from so many of our members on a single subject,” said Paloma Sparks, vice president of government relations for Oregon Business & Industry, the state’s largest business organization. It’s a strategy that worked well in normal times – Oregon entered the pandemic with one of the largest trust funds in the nation. I know you're frustrated and anxious and that many of you have been unable to reach us or to get the answers and assistance that you need. July 24: Expiration of Federal Program Providing Extra $600 per Week in Unemployment Benefits (Statement from Oregon Employment Department Acting Director David Gerstenfeld) July 22: Media Briefing (video and audio) July 17: New PUA Application Launched for Self-Employed Oregonians (press release) July 15: Media Briefing (video and audio) Just 20% of Oregon employers, primarily those that cut jobs during last year’s closures, will have to cover nearly the entire $183 million increase in unemployment taxes this year. ... 503-910-3821 or follow on Twitter @kcwithycombe. "To those who have not yet received their benefits, I want to apologize," Gerstenfeld said. Asked what he'd be doing to ensure that the leadership change isn't just surface-level, Gerstenfeld said that he was "dedicated" to improving communication. Gerstenfeld said claims for unemployment benefits still in “adjudication,” which require further review, were down from 52,000 on Sept. 30 to around 12,600. Contact her at cwithycombe@statesmanjournal.com, 503-910-3821 or follow on Twitter @kcwithycombe. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. By Mike Rogoway ... to make sure we’re striking the right balance here,” acting director David Gerstenfeld said in his Thursday testimony to … Kate Brown fired his predecessor, Kay Erickson. Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. As of last week, about 245,000 Oregonians had been paid benefits, but there are still thousands of claims that haven't been processed and people still waiting for money. All rights reserved (About Us). Last fall, the employment department repeatedly warned against changes that could reduce the trust fund. Subscribe Today Newsletters Mobile Apps Facebook Twitter E-Edition Storytellers Archives RSS Feeds. As of August 27, 500 claims filed the previous day remained to be processed, most of which were filed a day beforehand, Gerstenfeld said. "I am very sorry. Gerstenfeld said last week there are tens of thousands of self-employed workers waiting for benefits, but he said he doesn’t know whether that number is closer to 20,000 or 100,000. © 2021 Advance Local Media LLC. The high volume of applicants and federal policy changes that were meant to expand benefits have overwhelmed the agency's phone lines and outdated computer system. The agency has hired more people to handle the onslaught of claims and is focusing on processing the oldest claims for benefits. Subscribe to OregonLive. Make fundamental changes to the tax formula. Gerstenfeld cautioned that some unemployed Oregonians in unusual circumstances, including 1,500 self-employed workers nearing the end of their 46 weeks of … The Oregon Employment Department has failed to get timely payments — and clear information about benefits — to thousands of Oregonians out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic. “While well-intended, this program does not meet the needs of unemployed Oregonians. "It's really hard to predict because this is almost exactly the time that each year we start to see a regular seasonal increase in claim filings," Gerstenfeld said. His time there coincided with the Oregon's long recovery from the Great Recession, and what at the time were "historic high workloads" and a series of new federal programs and changes, he said. The new head of the Oregon Employment Department faced lawmakers Monday, just hours into his new job. Under state law, a formal objection can still be filed to the agency’s new Dec. 3 notice. These benefits amount to $300 per week for an estimated three to five weeks. At the outset of the pandemic, 100 workers were processing claims; now 700 are dedicated to that task. Many Oregonians calling the agency with questions about their claims have been met with busy signals; those who can get through often face long hold times. Twitter Share . Gerstenfeld has served as the Paid Family and Medical Leave Division director since September 2019. Interim Director David Gerstenfeld said Wednesday that a total of 97,000 claims have been filed by workers newly eligible under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. Acting Director David Gerstenfeld has said that because of the delay in congressional renewal of the programs, the Oregon Employment Department would likely face an interruption in payments. Claire Withycombe is a reporter at the Statesman Journal. 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