Cayuga County man describes struggle of applying for unemployment after weeks of failed attempts

There are hundreds of thousands of people out of work in New York alone. Millions more outside the state. And now, the New York State Department of Labor has moved its operation to 7 days a week.

It’s a move that was largely deemed necessary by the inability of that entity to process those who were filing for unemployment insurance.

While the funds are back-dated to the date the applicant lost his or her job – the struggle remains.

As one Cayuga County man learned – it’s an imperfect system, that brings a lot of frustration – especially when the service is desperately needed.

Leslie Baker of Martville worked at Fulton Screen Printing until he was laid off on March 18th, according to The day after he was laid off – the process began. First it was technical issues with the website, then calls to the state began to fail as well.

“I do it all day from morning until the time that they say they’re closed and we have trouble getting through. I just have get through to talk to somebody,” Baker said. “I’m very frustrated with the situation going on. I understand everybody in the state is getting unemployment and calling and applying. I understand. It’s just frustrating that everybody is managing to get through and I can’t talk to anybody.”

Baker says he has a car payment, loan and credit card bills coming due and says he has also had trouble reaching his bank to get some help.

Are you encountering a similar situation? We want to hear from you. Email

Download the App: Android (All Android Devices) | iOS (iPhone, iPad)
We believe in a product that is accessible to all readers online. That's why you'll never see a paywall on That said, a recurring monthly pledge of any amount through Patreon can help us deliver more content, and more in-depth coverage throughout the region. Visit to become a supporter!
Support Local Journalism