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'Employ Florida' job search website back online after cyberattack

Site taken offline two weeks ago
deo website.png
Posted at 6:47 PM, Jul 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-13 14:32:09-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Two weeks after a cyberattack forced a shutdown of the Employ Florida website, it's now back online.

Job search website 'Employ Florida' taken offline after cyberattack

Applying for jobs through the Employ Florida website is required for Floridians to claim unemployment benefits. While the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) said the work search requirement would be waived while the site was down, the I-Team continued to hear from people attempting to file for unemployment who said they couldn't put in applications or reach anyone at DEO to help.

In June, Devon Trimmings was in the process of filing for unemployment.

“We noticed that I had a pending action. Like I had a pending request. And it was that I didn’t register for the workforce for Employ Florida. Which is so that I can get started receiving my benefits, well, my payments. That was the only thing that was blocking it," Trimmings told the I-Team on Monday. “When I try to reach out to the DEO, it’s an automated message and basically when I try to speak to — like a representative or someone to, you know, talk to, it doesn’t let me. It just hangs up."

For more than a week, the I-Team continued to contact DEO for answers about what was happening to people like Trimmings — applying for unemployment for the first time while Employ Florida was down.

“To the DEO, it’s just — I hope they haven’t forgot about us," Trimmings said.

After its initial tweet two weeks ago, DEO did not post any other updates regarding the status of the Employ Florida website. Only after questioning the DEO, did the I-Team learn Monday night that Employ Florida was back up and running.

DEO told the I-Team that all Employ Florida system functions are expected to be fully restored by the end of the week, according to the vendor overseeing the Employ Florida site, Geographic Solutions.

DEO told the I-Team there were no delays processing unemployment claims when Employ Florida was offline. If you are experiencing issues, please let the I-Team know so we can get your information to the state.

This story came from a tip. If you have something you’d like the I-Team to investigate, email kylie.mcgivern@wfts.com or call 1-866-428-NEWS.