Every year school bus drivers, cafeteria workers and other contracted employees who are laid off during school breaks rely on unemployment benefits to provide for their families. However, this year Mark Butler, our Labor Commissioner in Georgia, has arbitrarily barred these workers from receiving unemployment benefits while they are laid off. **Update (6/26/12): private school teachers (K-12) that had previously received unemployment benefits over the summer are also being denied unemployment. **Update (10/1/12): the US Department of Labor (DoL) sent a letter to Mark Butler stating that his denial of unemployment benefits was out of compliance with state and federal guidelines and that he needed to "cease administering this regulatory and policy change immediately." Failure to do so could result in the witholding of $72 million dollars in federal administrative grants to the GA DoL. **Update (2/28/13): House Bill 361, a bill that would make Mark Butler's unlawful changes into Georgia state law was defeated today! (http://www.ajc.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/house-blocks-ban-on-unemployment-for-seasonal-empl/nW6hn/)
Mark Butler's decision reverses years of providing unemployment benefits for those who are periodically laid off from their jobs. This change will pressure experienced school bus drivers, teachers and other workers who take care of our children to find other jobs, forcing employers to hire less experienced or less reliable replacements.
This drastic change occurred not due to any change in law but because of Mark Butler's political agenda to cut benefits for workers.
This coincides with the conservative agenda to slash unemployment compensation and limit the number of weeks workers are able to receive benefits in Georgia. With unemployment hovering around 9%, higher than the national average, our political leaders should be focused on creating good jobs not cutting benefits for workers that are hurting the most.
In order to win unemployment benefits back for these workers we need YOUR support. Please sign this petition and call Mark Butler's office to demand that these workers get the benefits they need: (404) 232-7300
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