A handful of Republican Senators have prefiled the inappropriately-named Dignity for the Unemployed Act.  What’s so dignified about it?

(7) The individual has performed at least 24 hours of volunteer service per week for a nonprofit charitable organization which is qualified as exempt from taxation under the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. Such organization and service shall be in accordance with any regulations prescribed by the Commissioner. This paragraph shall not apply to the first two weeks of eligibility. The Commissioner may, by regulation, waive or alter the requirements of this paragraph for cases or situations in which the Commissioner finds that compliance with the requirements would be oppressive or inconsistent with the purposes of this chapter.

So, in other words, in order to get unemployment benefits, a person must complete over a part-time job’s worth of volunteer work every week.  That means that an unemployed individual has a near 0% chance of actually having time to find a job, you know, to get off unemployment.  Further, can anyone explain to me how we aren’t asking unemployed people to become governmental indentured servants?

This bill is a vile joke.  I’m just surprised they didn’t go all the way and require daily drug testing.


3 Responses to Misnomer only begins to describe it

  1. Jason Dozier says:

    The Atlanta Business Chronicle is saying that the work could include paid work as well: http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2011/11/30/bill-requires-volunteer-work-for.html?ed=2011-11-30&s=article_du&ana=e_du_pap

    Doesn’t change the fact that its a highly disruptive, especially for those who have dependents and can no longer afford day care due lack of employment.

    • Jen B. says:

      I would be surprised if there wasn’t a “primary caregiver” exemption written into the law, for those who are now caring for children instead of paying for childcare.

  2. be says:

    it is indentured servitude. and it will trap folks into long term unemployment as they spend the majority of their time and energy with an organization that they may not bond with, and that has no obligation to them. and it’s just a way to avoid paying people for the same work they’d do under the GA Works program.