SC unemployment agency toughening benefit rules

The director of South Carolina's unemployment agency says a new policy will get tougher on people laid off from work for misconduct, but it may not be tough enough for legislators.

Maj. Gen. Abraham Turner said Tuesday the agency plans to reduce the number of weeks someone can receive unemployment benefits if they were let go for absenteeism, poor attitude, violating policy or poor work quality.

The change means they would miss out on at least 16 weeks of payments, up from 10, leaving the maximum state benefit at a month.

But Republican Sen. Kevin Bryant says those workers shouldn't get any benefits because they were fired for cause. If someone receives four weeks of state benefits, they could still draw up to 61 weeks when including federally paid extensions.