State GOPs: no benefits unless you shut up and obey your boss


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Is this another plank in the ALEC platform?


And yet no gun control. This will end well.


Seems to be associated with ALEC members, but the initiators look like the NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business), the US Chamber of Commerce, etc.
The Legislative Attack on American Wages and Labor Standards, 2011–2012 | Economic Policy Institute

(initial search for ALEC “behavioral norms” turned up a lot of Alec Baldwin stories :slight_smile: )


This means someone who breaks a “Christian” rule at a growing number of schools, businesses, etc. will be punished by losing their governmental benefits.

As our current Supreme Court seems hell-bent (pun intended) on overriding the First Amendment whenever it involves a particular version of Christianity, this is going to get ugly at a national level.


Scrooge would have liked this. Back to work Mister Cratchit!


Isn’t this lesson normally communicated via GPA?

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I’ve already felt that the Republican insistence on cutting away the safety net, depressing wages and punishing nonconformity is an intentional effort to produce a cowed and terrorized workforce. How many of these laws do we need before it’s obvious? It’s like people are longing for the good old days of “Sixteen Tons.”


Conform. Consume. Obey.


“Maintaining the current status hierarchy and enforcing its rules seems ever so much more wise and moral and important when you are on the top and doing the enforcing than when you are on the bottom”

It is communicated even more by detentions, suspensions, and diagnoses. The red flag is not (primarily) punishing students (or adults) for doing things that are generally recognized as wrong or unacceptable in some particular context. It’s punishing them for doing what a particular boss/teacher decides is unacceptable - quite often as a result of vaguely worded, rarely enforced (or alternatively over-enforced zero-tolerance) rules whose justifications, if they ever existed, are long since forgotten.

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My boss says that I should tell everyone this is a really good idea.


Brendan Eich doesn’t get unemployment benefits because he voluntarily resigned. Also he fails the means test since he’s a millionaire. But don’t let facts get in the way of you trolling the Democrat mob.


Some of those states probably have laws that ban consideration of sharia law in the courts, so wouldn’t the christian sharia laws be tossed out? :wink:

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Am I missing something? I’m not sure that this news at all.

if you’re fired for cause, you aren’t eligible for unemployment. Breaking an HR policy by dating a co-worker or violating an internet usage policy would be cause, right?

Yeah, no, your job can fuck right off out of your private life says I. Dicking about on the internet, well, I’m more or less ok if someone repeatedly takes the piss, but not who you’re allowed to have a relationship with. fuck that. Why did anyone let that become a thing, for god’s sake? Proper conduct in the workplace, well, okay.Once you clock off? Nope. Work rules are for work, and they should stop at the gates.


It’s odd to see eligibility criteria for unemployment insurance being called out here as if it were a recent development, or tied to Republicans. I work with unemployment claims in a “blue” state, and it’s my understanding that, while laws pertaining to unemployment insurance after being discharged do vary from state to state, laws nationwide usually call for a denial of benefits if the claimant was discharged for “misconduct.”

In my state, misconduct is defined as a “willful or wantonly negligent disregard of the standards of behavior that an employer has a right to expect of an employee” or a “willful or wantonly negligent disregard of an employer’s interest.”

This is written into statute, and hasn’t changed, at least in the past 5 years that I’ve been doing this, nor was it recently enacted by a Republican-led legislature. Like I say, it’s fairly standard from state to state.

[See, for example, the Dept. of Labor’s “Benefits, Timliness, Quality” manual (pdf) (which is all about how administrative decisions allowing or denying UI benefits are scored for quality), page VI - 4, the guidesheet for discharge decisions. As it says right at the top, “Discharge from a job for misconduct connected with the work is cause for disqualification.” ]

You might want to have a debate about why people are being denied unemployment insurance after being discharged for misconduct, but this is nothing new.

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This is what you get if you ban and vilify worker representation.

A few USians would probably get a heart attack if they knew about the rights of a german works council (Betriebsrat):

A short summary:

  • A works council can be elected in Germany in operations normally having at least five employees. Whether a works council should be elected in an operation is decided exclusively by the employees. Preventing a works council election in Germany is punishable under criminal law.
  • Members of the works council have special protection against dismissal. This means that their employment relationships can only be terminated with the consent of the works council committee. If the works council committee does not consent, the employer is obligated to replace the consent of the works council with a court decision.
  • As far as considered necessary by the works council, the works council is entitled to hold works council meetings during which topics of concern for the works council are discussed.
  • The employer alone bears the costs resulting from the work of the works council.
  • With regards to social matters, the works council has a comprehensive codetermination right.
    Social matters for which the works council has a codetermination right are: company rules: e.g. code of conduct, smoking bans, dress codes, name tags; beginning and end of the daily working hours including breaks; temporary reduction or extension of working hours, e.g. overtime; establishing general policies on holiday
  • The employer is obligated to inform the works council before hiring or transferring an employee and submit the necessary documents to the works council. If the works council refuses to give its consent the employer is obligated to obtain such consent to the personnel measures in court.
  • If the employer is planning on restructuring in Germany, in the case of operational changes, the employer is obligated to negotiate a reconciliation of interests before implementing the operational changes.
  • Works councils have a particularly high amount of protection. The employer should therefore, at all costs, refrain from obstructing, disadvantaging or promoting the work of the works council. If an employer violates this principle, such violations are penalised by fines or imprisonment.

Despite all this socialism the german economy seems to be doing fine …


I think the problem here is the ever over-broadening of what the employer “has a right to expect”, including for example the denial of little things like freedom of speech and freedom of association outside working hours.

Another problem is, one private individual gets to make the state punish another private individual for unwelcome speech by merely asserting that it was “misconduct”. What checks and balances apply here? I’m pretty sure the presumption will always be in favour of the employer (who stands to lose NOTHING by this), and the ex-employee will have to lose weeks of benefit even if there is any way to appeal it.


Every time I visit Berlin, my friends try to get me to move there. You’re not making it any easier!

(Actually, once the kids are grown…it’s a very real possibility.)

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It all depends on how the law and rule is interpreted and applied.

For example, take that “deliberate violation or disregard of the reasonable standards of behavior which the employer expects," from the Florida law. See the “reasonable standards” statement in there? Say you were discharged because your boss didn’t like red-colored clothing, and you wore a red tie to work. You’re in an “at-will” state, so they can legally do that. But is your employer’s requirement that you’re never to wear red because they hate the color a “reasonable standard”? No. Would you be denied unemployment benefits if you were discharged for that reason? Probably not. Granted, that’s a silly example, but you see what I mean.

In my state, and, I’m assuming, in most other states as well, the employer doesn’t “get to make the state punish another private individual” by denying their unemployment benefits. (How could they? They don’t know UI law and rule, etc.) The employment adjudicator makes the decision to allow or deny, based on information provided by both the employer and the former employee, after applying state statutes and administrative rules.

In fact, there are so-called “burden of proof” states, where the burden is on the employer to prove that the claimant’s behavior was misconduct in a discharge case. If they don’t respond by the due date when information is requested, or provide incomplete information, then that burden hasn’t been met, and the claimant isn’t denied benefits. (My state is not a “burden of proof” state. Here, claimants can “self-disqualify” by telling us what they did.)

So no, it doesn’t always go in favor of the employer, much to the annoyance of many employers (who are the ones who fund unemployment insurance), who often call and complain about decisions we’ve made.

(Folks, if you’re applying for UI, and you’ve been discharged, or voluntarily quit, or are on a leave of absence…call the adjudicator back in a timely manner when they call you. Cooperate. Make sure you get your side of the story heard.)

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