CLIMB is an unemployment program in Minnesota that supports dislocated workers. CLIMB is an acronym for Converting Layoffs Into Minnesota Businesses.
Unfortunately, this program is incredibly new and contradicts unemployment statutes.
As a result, MN’s CLIMB program is causing problems.
First, a little history. Yes, CLIMB is new. Perhaps others will talk about this program as if it has been around since the beginning of time, but really, it hasn’t.
Yes, there is more than a decade worth of bills and suggested legislation that has gone into this new rule.
The rule that finally went into place stems from something called Sec. 116L.17.
Details for the CLIMB Program
Here is what the statute says:
Converting layoffs into Minnesota businesses (CLIMB) is created to assist dislocated workers in starting or growing a business. CLIMB must offer entrepreneurial training, business consulting, and technical assistance to dislocated workers seeking to start or grow a business. The commissioner, in cooperation with local workforce councils, must provide the assistance in this subdivision by:
(1) encouraging closer ties between the Small Business Development Center network, Small Business Development Center training providers, and workforce centers, as well as other dislocated worker program service providers; and
(2) eliminating grantee performance data disincentives that would otherwise prevent enrollment of dislocated workers in entrepreneurship-related training.
Really though, the program is in its infancy stage and feels a lot more like the wild wild west. Currently, the only case that even addresses the statute itself is Pernue v. Craigin Mach Shop. But, this case doesn’t help applicants navigate CLIMB.
In my experience, workers trying to collect unemployment benefits sometimes find it difficult to meet eligibility conditions under Minn. Stat. 268.085.
Minnesota’s Converting Layoffs Into Minnesota Businesses program has the potential of pushing applicants into problems with eligibility conditions. This is especially true when the program fails at offering clear guidelines.
Unclear guidelines are inspiring audits. And, applicants are finding it necessary to appeal issues of concern.
Appeal CLIMB Issues
With most government program in Minnesota, decisions are appealable. Exactly how and when is the generally the issue.
Right now, this law office is seeing issues being reviewed through the Unemployment Appeal Process. However, it would not be surprising if cases are eventually reviewed or pushed towards Minnesota’s Office of Administrative Hearings.
In the meantime, applicants should be even more diligent than they normally might. This includes reading, recording, and saving everything. For those wishing to appeal, please consider contacting this law office.