Ideas on unemployment insurance

March 17, 2014

The Senate has recently passed legislation extending unemployment insurance benefits. What will happen in the House is anybody’s guess. The Republican majority in the House has not signaled any willingness to go along with the Senate proposal and I am sure that no matter what happens we will hear plenty of rhetoric about hurting workers in the long run by extending their unemployment benefits and about hurting the economy by increasing the deficit.

What I have never heard from either side is anything about offering up legislation that would give workers some protection before they become unemployed. It would be nice if there was federal law that prohibited an employer from firing someone because they refused to break the law or do something unethical. It would be nice if there was a federal law supporting seniority when it came to layoffs. It would be nice if our Congress would do something to help employees who are being let go have some ability to hold their employers accountable in some ways. It would be nice if that legislation included some provision for severance pay and timely notification before termination.

By definition anyone receiving unemployment insurance has already been deemed without fault in regard to their unemployment. These people certainly deserve to be treated with some respect. They should be rewarded for their good service.

It would not hurt the economy if employers had to be more mindful when they terminated someone’s livelihood. It would also be good for the economy if employers who used unemployment insurance as a way of keeping their workforce on hold during slow times had to foot the entire cost of the unemployment insurance for those employees.

Brendan Buschi

  • A letter to the editor expresses a reader's opinion and, as such, is not reflective of the editorial opinions of this newspaper.

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