My unemployment story has some of the same common elements as many others of the unemployed.
I was a middle-classed, over 50 woman, when I was notified I would be laid off on my return to work from a medical leave.
Possibly, the one thing different for me was that I understood how unemployment benefits worked because I worked for the largest of the large .. unemployment cost control companies. And they put me through the wringer with the usual tactics used by employers to deny unemployment benefits.
While I was collecting they called me back to work, but this time I spent nearly the next three years as a “temp employee” with no health benefits or paid time off while they continued to hire.
Please don’t get me wrong .. I know I was blessed to have a job, but I was resentful because during that nearly three years they just kept hiring people less than half my age and half the pay I made .. despite my pleas to make me a permanent employee again.
They couldn’t do that because my department was to be dissolved. During this time my “deskload” went from eight or so unemployment hearings a week to over three hundred .. and most of them .. weren’t lack of work claims .. they were discharges and quits .. the writing was on the wall ..
Before a layoff .. fire or force as many people to quit as possible to avoid payment of benefits. Just the way it’s always been, only now, the number were bigger.
So what does one over fifty woman do that really needs health insurance?
Find a way to pay for it .. eventually.
I built a website and devoted myself in the evenings to answering questions from those that I worked against everyday.
Four years later, I’m now able to buy my own health insurance .. which is just one more thing that employers hold in their hands and are not ethically opposed to hold over our heads to extort employee loyalty.
There can be no truth in the “American Dream” unless all parties involved in an employment relationship agree to not only play by the rules, but play ethically.
The problem is not the hardworking .. what’s left, of the middle classed ..
The problems always seem to be human greed and ambition at all cost.
But, the fear that stops an individual from taking a righteous stand when these things effect them or others on a personal level and can only complain without hope or effort, is what allows any kind of tyranny, no matter how subtle or insidious to grow to the proportions we are experiencing today.