Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Americorps Workers Should be Employees, not "Volunteers"

We've heard about the working conditions at Walmart and fast food jobs were bad, but have you heard about Americorps? Check out this e-mail IWW Union Delegate Alex Lotorto sent back to the Public Allies' fundraiser.

As an alum of Public Allies and during my time in the program, I became very aware of the ambiguous employment status of Public Allies and Americorps members at large. I've concluded Americorps workers need to be classified as employees and given the rights of employees for me to support the program vocally or financially.

Currently, the only rights under labor law afforded to Americorps workers are the Family Medical Leave Act and workers compensation. Rights that are denied include harassment and discrimination protection by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Occupational Safety and Health Administration protection, the right to form a union, the right to unemployment compensation, and the right to access state labor departments to resolve wage disputes and harassment on a state level.