Businesses shouldn’t punish workers further by fighting unemployment benefits
Originally published on BuzzFlash.com on Thu, 02/12/2009 – 12:58pm
You lose your job. Many things go through your mind, but you figure one of the easier errands to do is file for unemployment. After all, you didn’t lose your job because you were stealing or committing some other flagrant abuse.
But more and more workers are finding when they get to the unemployment office that their benefits are being challenged — now more than a quarter of workers filing for unemployment.
Businesses can save money if they successfully dispute your benefits. Meanwhile, your bills are going unpaid, and you have to spend valuable time and energy fighting for your rightfully earned money, resources better spent trying to find another job.
This is going beyond those who felt compelled to quit, which in some cases still allows them to collect unemployment. Often, employees are asked to leave without thinking there is a problem, then discover that the employer has said different things to the unemployment agency.
Businesses have a responsibility to pay into the system, so it can be properly utilized when the time comes to dismiss or layoff workers. The unwritten contract (and often written contracts) is violated when businesses smear workers to try and avoid paying the benefits.
As anyone who has gone through the unemployment system can tell you, the design of the system was set up for work almost 100 years ago. Right this second isn’t the best time to change the process. But the new Secretary of Labor (can’t we just get Hilda Solis approved already?) should make the revamping of the unemployment system a significant priority.
Workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own face a number of gigantic challenges. Fighting for what little unemployment insurance gives them shouldn’t be one of those challenges.