Saturday, March 21, 2009

Arrogant Repub Governors

I am getting so sick of Republican governors turning down stimulus money because of the condition that the state offer unemployment benefits to part-time employees. I've heard the argument made that there is no reason for the state to pay unemployment to people who are unwilling to work a full-time job. How easy it must be to say that when you work such a cushy over-paid job as politics. But are those governors able to see from the windows in their ivory towers that sometime full-time employment isn't possible?
I am very glad that Illinois pays unemployment to part-time employees. I know plenty of people who work part-time jobs full time. Thirty hours at Walmart and twenty more waiting tables is a lot of work for having no benefits. Almost all retail jobs are classified as part-time, mainly to avoid paying out for health insurance. It's not that people are unwilling to work full-time, it's that it's so much cheaper for employers to offer only 30 hours a week to more people than a full forty to fewer. By keeping employees under a certain number of paid hours they can avoid offering benefits, vacation time, paid holidays, even certain federal employee protections*. College students earning tuition, the uneducated, unskilled, or untrained. These are the people who are being told that they are unworthy of state protection when their governors refuse to pay unemployment to part-timers.

*The Family Medical Leave Act only applies to full-time employees, as defined by the average number of hours worked in the prior year.

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