Texas Workforce Commission official who coached businesses on avoiding workers' benefits gets promotion

Help Wanted

A state official who had advised Texas businesses how to skirt paying workers' benefits was later promoted to division director at the Texas Workforce Commission.

In July 2010, Jonathan Babiak, then a deputy director at the commission, gave a speech to a group of business people about unemployment claims and how to avoid them. From the Houston Chronicle report:
Say you're the boss and you're going to fire one of your employees. Instead of booting the employee out the door, the Texas Workforce Commission recommends giving your employee the option to resign.

Employees given that choice are more likely to conclude they aren't eligible for benefits, Babiak said.
It's not the employer's obligation to correct that misunderstanding, said Babiak, deputy director of appellate services for the Texas Workforce Commission in Austin. If employees resign, he said, "chances are they won't file a claim."
We were told when we called the workforce commission office that Babiak had been transferred to the human resources division.

Imagine our surprise to find that Babiak is now an executive at the commission, holding the title of director of the civil rights division, a position he was promoted to in November of 2010.
Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.

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