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Nevada unemployment work search requirement worries some convention workers

Posted at 6:19 PM, Apr 23, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Filing for unemployment is about to take a little extra work, namely proving you’re looking for work. That’s concerning for people who say their line of work hasn’t bounced back yet.

Convention work is a passion for Marie Dreshar, especially being in Las Vegas.

“We get to meet people from all over the world and all walks of life," she said. "We get to learn about every industry possible.”

Dreshar has worked in conventions for decades, but jobs dried up during the pandemic. As Las Vegas begins to reopen, the opportunities have been slow to come by.

RELATED: Nevada unemployment office reinstating work search requirements

“There’s not many conventions or conferences at this time and the ones that are here, they’re not enough for our whole industry,” she said.

Many other conference and convention workers still rely on unemployment payments to stay afloat.

Starting May 1, the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, or DETR, is requiring all unemployment claimants to prove they’re searching for a job in their field to maintain their payments.

Dreshar says people in her industry are caught in a pickle.

“It’s very difficult for people to do the job search when we don’t have conferences, so who do we go out looking for?” she asked.

RELATED: DETR updates PUA system including identity verification

Dreshar wants DETR to temporarily remove the requirement for convention and conference workers until the economy recovers further, saying their skill set is dependent on events coming back. She even created a petition.

“We already have our careers. We’re just waiting for them to come back,” she said.

DETR Director Elisa Cafferata confirms the requirement is to search for jobs in your own field.

“The work search requirement always has been, not just go take any job, but it's always been related to your own occupation, what's appropriate for your market and for your business -- the business or industry that you're in,” she said.

13 Action News reached out to DETR for further clarification but didn’t hear back by the deadline.