Who Would Want This Job?

Yes, jobs are hard to come by these days, but don’t despair. Here’s a company that’s hiring—if you can stomach the work.

It’s the Talx Corp. It helps major outfits like AT&T Inc. and Walmart Stores Inc. prevent former employees from getting unemployment benefits. Sound like fun?

When a corporation’s laid-off workers are denied jobless benefits, the corporation pays less in taxes to our nation’s unemployment fund. Denying benefits is a messy process, and it’s hardly a plus for the corporate image. So in comes Talx to do the dirty chore.

Talx has become notorious in state unemployment offices for the tons of paper it flings to clog and game the process, thus denying or stalling benefits that laid-off people are due. Stalling a case is often all it takes to make it go away since many jobless folks don’t have the resources to battle a deep-pocket opponent like Talx. They just give up.

Lying seems to be another Talx weapon. A recent New York Times report cites several examples, including the case of a mentally disabled man fired from his job as a night janitor in a New Hampshire Walmart.Talx stalled for three months before the fellow could get a hearing. The hearing officer granted benefits to the jobless janitor, but Talx appealed, claiming Walmart had requested permission to testify by phone, but been disallowed. There had been, it was found, no such request. Finally the janitor won his appeal, but thanks to Talx’s long stall, he had no money for rent and lost his apartment. “That was a nightmare,” he said of the experience.

Talx officials say the company improves the“efficiency” of the unemployment system. It doesn’t. It strips the system of decency.

Do you think free access to journalism like this is important?
The Texas Observer depends on support from its members to keep telling stories like the one you are reading now. This fall we're looking for 200 more sustaining members—people like you who can give us as little as $0.99 per month. Your membership means we can continue shedding light on issues that might otherwise go unreported. Can we count on you?

You May Also Like: