September 30, 2014

Lamonte Bill Aims to Lower Michigan’s Unemployment Rate

Bill would level the playing field for jobless people seeking work

LANSING – State Representative Collene Lamonte (D-Montague) has introduced a plan to give unemployed job seekers a fair shot as they look for new work. The bill would end the practice of discrimination against unemployed applicants in job postings. It’s currently permitted to disqualify unemployed people from the job application process, even as Michigan has the fifth-highest unemployment rate in the nation.

“Too many good, hardworking Michiganders are still struggling to recover from the recession, when hundreds of thousands of people lost jobs through no fault of their own,” Lamonte said. “Unfortunately, the longer someone struggles to find a job, the more likely it is that employers will hold the job loss against the applicant. It’s wrong to deny these people the chance to apply for a good job, and this legislation would help end that practice.”

According to the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago, our state lost more than 413,000 jobs in the recent recession, and only added back about 145,000 jobs since then(1). The longer a person has been out of work, the harder it can be for them to find a good job. Research from a Northeastern University economist has found that employers are less likely to hire a qualified job seeker who has been out of work for six or more months than a less qualified but currently employed applicatant(2).

“The very least we can do is give Michigan’s unemployed people a level playing field as they try to rejoin the workforce,” Lamonte said. “Job applicants should be considered on their training, experience and abilities, not ruled out simply because of economic circumstances beyond their control.”

Lamonte’s bill is being introduced in conjunction with an additional bill from Rep. Theresa Abed (D-Grand Ledge). Her bill would give businesses tax credits if they hire a long-term unemployed worker. The tax credit would be worth 20 percent of the worker’s compensation during the tax year, or $3,000, whichever is less.

“Taken together, these bills give companies an incentive to consider hiring out-of-work Michiganders, and a strong disincentive to discriminate against them,” Lamonte said. “Michigan families have contended with one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation for too long, and it’s time we changed that. Michigan workers deserve a fair shake when they try to get back to work.”


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Office Address
N1195 House Office Building

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514

Phone: (517) 373-3436
Fax: (517) 373-9698

(877) 633-0331


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September 25, 2014

Lamonte Introduces Resolution to End Aramark’s Prison Contract

Aramark’s poor safety track record puts guards, public, inmates at risk

September 22, 2014

Lamonte Offers Legislation to Protect “Critical” Sand Dunes

Bill promotes local control, responsible development of critical dune areas

August 27, 2014

Lamonte Legislation Leads Way to Ending Corporate Tax Evasion

Resolution urges Congress stop allowing corporations to escape taxes


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Collene Lamonte

State Representative Collene Lamonte

91st House District

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