Beginning in 2023, three weekly work searches required for unemployment claimants; As of July 1, gig workers classified as independent contractors

Starting Jan. 1, 2023, the number of job searches required by unemployment claimants will increase from one to three weekly, under Act No. 2022-301.

The law signed April 12 requires an unemployed individual to contact at least three prospective employers during each week unemployment is claimed and provide proof of that work search to the Alabama Department of Labor. Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, the legislation’s sponsor, said an exception would be given to those in certified job training programs.

Previously, Alabama required one job search weekly by unemployment claimants. Bordering states Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee require three and Florida requires five.

Another employment-related piece of legislation enacted in the 2022 regular session, defines workers for certain marketplace platforms, such as Uber, Grubhub, Lyft, Waitr and Alabama-based Shipt, as independent contractors. It takes effect July 1. LEARN MORE.


Seasonal Workers: Legislation that would have allowed employers to designate certain employees as seasonal workers received committee approval, but the full Senate never voted on it.

Several other employment-related bills introduced in the 2022 regular session never moved out of committee:

  • HB185 by Rep. Ralph Howard, D-Greensboro, would have created a $10-per-hour state minimum wage. The state minimum wage would have reverted to the federal minimum wage, if the federal rate ever became higher than the state’s. The current federal hourly minimum wage is $7.25. Alabama does not have separate minimum wage.
  • HB27 by Rep. Rolanda Hollis, D-Birmingham, would have made it unlawful for an employer, employment agency or labor organization to discriminate against an applicant or employee based upon the applicant or employee’s race, religion, sex, age, disability or national origin. It also would have created a state cause of action against employers. In 2021, the House Judiciary Committee considered, but never voted on, a similar bill by Hollis.
  • SB50 by Sen. Rodger M. Smitherman, D-Birmingham, would have prohibited those who employ five or more from discriminating against an applicant or employee based upon the applicant or employee’s racial or ethnic hairstyle and would create a cause of action against an employer who does so. Similar legislation received committee approval in 2021 but never made it to the Senate floor.

This article is part of the Alabama Retail Report, a communication for Alabama Retail Association members. Not a member? Join us!

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