This worker got jobless benefits; Virginia wants them back

Ernest Ray, right, sits with his niece, Kendra Potter at the Virginia Higher Education Center...
Ernest Ray, right, sits with his niece, Kendra Potter at the Virginia Higher Education Center in Abington Va., Tuesday Aug. 17, 2021. Ray has been fighting the state of Virginia in court as it tries to recoup unemployment benefits he received after being laid off from his job of more than two decades. (AP Photo/Sarah Rankin)(Sarah Rankin | AP)
Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 9:26 AM EST
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ABINGDON, Va. (AP) — A Virginia man is fighting to hang on to $9,000 in unemployment benefits that the state gave him when his compressor plant closed in 2018.

The Virginia Employment Commission is trying to get those benefits back.

Ernest Ray’s attorney says the case illustrates a radically dysfunctional bureaucracy at the agency, which recently has come under sharp criticism for its shaky response to the surge in jobless claims during the coronavirus pandemic.

Republican Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin campaigned on a promise to overhaul the agency but has so far released no specifics about where he’ll start.

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