Governor McCrory signs unemployment benefit reforms into law

There's a new law in North Carolina that's supposed to get people without jobs back to work faster and easier.

Governor Pat McCrory was in Gastonia Thursday to sign a bill into law that requires people seeking unemployment benefits to make more weekly job contacts. In the past, they've only had to make two connections per week. That requirement has now been increased to five.

McCrory says the new law also holds employers accountable. The governor said, “It gives us the authority to actually garnish a delinquent employer’s credit card receipts to make sure they are paying what they are supposed to be paying. It will also help us identify employers who misclassify employees as independent contractors to avoid paying unemployment tax.”

The new law is also designed to give employers a tax break once the state reaches its required reserve for future unemployment benefits. That's expected to happen before the end of the year.

The bill signing comes after McCrory's office says there were rampant problems with the state's unemployment system, including inmates in another part of the state collecting unemployment payments while they were still in jail. The new law requires cross checking criminal justice databases and DMV records, along with a photo ID requirement for those seeking benefits.