We all know that ACORN is having some serious short term financial difficulties. Ever since the video tapes made by James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles were released, ACORN's image has suffered. With that image in decline, so to has funding begun to dry up. First, several governmental agencies began to cut off funds. Then, Bank of America cut ties. With funding drying up, ACORN is having all sorts of short term funding issues.
Like any other organization, when you're unable to generate revenue, you are forced to lay off and even fire. Unlike most organizations, ACORN isn't simply laying off its employees. Members of ACORN 8 have received correspondences with employees from several different ACORN offices. These employees are reporting a very troubling directive coming from management of these offices. The employees are being told not only that they will be laid off or fired, but they are encouraged to continue to volunteer at ACORN and collect unemployment at the same time.
By doing so, rather than having ACORN pay their salaries the U.S. taxpayers will do it. If you are collecting unemployment you must make a good faith effort to find new work. This is a very difficult to enforce directive however it is rooted in the law. By suggesting to their employees that they continue to volunteer while collecting unemployment, ACORN is suggesting to their employees that they skirty employment law.
Furthermore, many ACORN employees are true believers. As such, they believe in the cause, so to speak. So, many of them, presumably, believe that ACORN will get over this rough patch. They will then want to come back and work at ACORN once it has recovered financially. This directive puts pressure on all those being fired and laid off to comply. That's because it is a sign of loyalty. It's very easy for an employee to presume that those that follow this directive will be first to get their jobs back. As such, this directive could easily be viewed as a sign of loyalty by an organization built on true believers.
It's important to note that the employees themselves don't know where in ACORN this directive originated from. Those that I spoke with that said they received calls said that it came from multiple offices and so it can't be explained away by blaming it on one "rogue" manager. What's stunning is the brazen nature of this directive. Bertha Lewis is all over television claiming she's cleaning up the corruption. Meanwhile, management sees an opportunity to try and take advantage not only of the tax payers but their low level employees. They're doing all this at the time when the spotlight on much of their corruption is burning brightly. I was stunned by the hubris of then Governor Rod Blagojevich who engaged in bribery knowing he was being investigated. ACORN is committing a similar level of corruption. Knowing that the spotlight is on them, they still commit a similar brazen act of corruption.