Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
I previously explained Arizona's Unemployment Insurance (UI) program in The GOP war on the unemployed in the Arizona Lege. The key point:
Under Arizona law, the burden of proof has
always been on the employer to establish disqualification from
unemployment insurance benefits. The public policy reason for this is
that the employer enjoys control over employment records (proprietary
information). Employees are not entitled to records in their employee
file (several bills to give employees a right to documents in their
employee file have failed in the Arizona legislature).
This is the way it has always been. Now comes along Rep. Warren
Petersen, R-Gilbert, who wants to change this burden of proof by
shifting the burden to the unemployed worker, adding insult to the
injury of being unemployed. Petersen wants the worker to prove that he
or she is eligible to receive benefits, rather than the employer prove
that the worker is ineligible.
This is a major change
in the long-standing public policy behind unemployment insurance,
and gives unscrupulous employers an unfair advantage to deny
workers unemployment benefits to which they are presumptively entitled.
UI benefits are insurance for workers who have lost their job through no fault of their own, not "welfare" to lazy couch potatoes who watch TV all day and do not want to work as so many Tea-Publican members of the Arizona legislature have demonized the unemployed. (In order to receive benefits, workers must submit records each week of actively seeking employment in order to continue to receive UI benefits).
This is a bad bill that will empower unscrupulous employers to cause harm to employees who have lost their job. Arizona's UI benefits are pathetically inadequate to begin with, now the lege wants to deny these inadequate benefits altogether. As someone who has handled several dozen UI cases before the DES, I have seen this first-hand. I know what this bill is intended to do. This is mean-spirited.
The Tea-Publican controled Arizona legislature has given final approval to HB 2147, which would
require people applying for benefits to provide documentation that they
are eligible, and if they don't provide that information, their
benefits could be denied. The bill now goes to Governor Jan Brewer. Hurdles to jobless aid get final OK:
Lawmakers gave final approval Tuesday to putting new hurdles in the
path of Arizonans seeking jobless benefits, sending the measure to Gov.
The 34-24 party-line House vote for HB 2147 came over
objections of Democrats who said there is no evidence of any fraud
allowing ineligible people to get weekly checks.
This bill is an obscenity. You need to contact Governor Jan Brewer and insist that she veto this unnecessary and mean-spirited bill that will cause immeasurable harm to the unemployed at a time when they are most vulnerable. They should not be at the mercy of an unscrupulous employer.
The Honorable Janice K. Brewer
1700 West Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phoenix Office: (602) 542-4331
Tucson Office: (520) 628-6580
Fax Number: (602) 542-1381
In-State Toll Free 1-800-253-0883 (outside Maricopa County only)
E-mail form: Contact the Governor