Doanaldin Trumpet, the first female president of the Corporate States of America, has passed a revolutionary bill called the D.E.D (despicable exploitation of the dead) act. This allows employers advantages in society never before seen in our nations history. All future employees wanting to gain employment in any company must sign a waiver allowing their corpses to be resurrected by their employer. By paying a considerable fee, a corporation can hire a necromancer to bring back a dead worker as a form of undead. These zombies are fully intelligent and retain their memories of life, as well as any skills or knowledge they may have developed.

The resurrection process returns their youthful vigor, e.g. by regenerating their mitochondria, such that the resurrectee could potentially outshine any living employee by many orders of magnitude. This way, the worker continues to serve his company in life and death. However, upkeep of the body is still expensive, giving a necromancer continued value. The ritual thst brought them back must be repeated at various times to maintain their unseat and prevent them from decaying.

How can I make this system more profitable and appealing for an employer over training someone new to do the same job?

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    $\begingroup$ training someone takes resources, this should easily pay for itself over time $\endgroup$
    – TruthOf42
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 1:20
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    $\begingroup$ Does the employer need to care for the zombie? Aka provide with with shelter, food, clothes? Does the zombie act like a normal human or will it just follow instructions? Can the zombie learn? Can they fire the zombie and what happens to it then? It doesn't exactly sound like zombies, but more like a rebirth... $\endgroup$
    – Shadowzee
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 1:30
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    $\begingroup$ i would have gone with donna strumpet, but that's just me. $\endgroup$
    – theRiley
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 3:43
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    $\begingroup$ I don't understand the question. How can legions of skilled human slaves, ignoring zombie-or-living, not already be hugely profitable? Who would bother to hire the living? Those folks need parking spaces and health care. Zombies just need braaaaains, $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 8:09
  • $\begingroup$ Have a read of the Laundry Files particularly the laundry's use of RHRs "residual human resources". $\endgroup$
    – Ash
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 16:06

6 Answers 6


This wont work

Originally i was writing something that agreed with and elaborated on Thornes answer. But as i thought about it this simply wont work.

the problem is consciousness

The recognized problem with slave labor and socialist societies is the lack of incentive. For manual labor this is ok but work that requires mental exertion this always falls apart.

Because these undead are intelligent and conscious their work output would suffer from lack of incentive on cognitive tasks.

You could argue that they would be working to overcome the pain of decay. How would the above be different than the lash? You could argue they would be working to live. Why do they want to live? At this point their after life is pain and slavery. Maybe you could argue that they are working for the peace of death. Then you would have to end them at some point which defeats the cost of resurrection vs simply letting them live. Not to mention fear and pain have been proven to be terrible motivators for cognitive work.

In just about every scenario intelligent zombie slaves simply become infeasible.

Here is the only possibility

It isnt treated as slavery but as a health benefit.

If the employee should die as a result of an accident, they may opt in to and may recieve a zombie resurrection from the company. They may receive life sustaining services from the company at the company's discretion (allows the company to ensure cost benefit).

This makes their resurrection and existence optional and manageable by the company. They could sell this to the community as means of offering loved ones a chance for goodbyes. If the zombie wishes to 'live' they must work for it.

  • $\begingroup$ consciousness and free will are concerns that I share with your answer $\endgroup$
    – BKlassen
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 22:15

Lack of undead rights

The dead don't need to eat or sleep nor do they need to be paid. Once you die, the company owns you until your body wears out.

It's so profitable, the government needs ways to make it less attractive to companies so living people get employed.

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    $\begingroup$ I was formulating an answer, but this actually sums it all up. Without undead rights you can work their souls off 24/7, do magnitude of work for them, hell if they get actually youthful and they somehow look human, you can actually violate them entirely, in every way. yet you dont pay them anything at all AND you wont worry about the law. One question remains, what if they where wise enough to form a union? $\endgroup$
    – Mr.J
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 5:49
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    $\begingroup$ The necromancer sends the unionists back to where they came from........ $\endgroup$
    – Thorne
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 5:58
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    $\begingroup$ You might get religions trying to meddle in your internal affairs though; your undead may not be entitled to rights but they're entitled to rites $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 5:59
  • $\begingroup$ They signed those rites away when they took the job...... $\endgroup$
    – Thorne
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 6:00
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    $\begingroup$ It won't take long for Reg Shoe to turn up chanting "Undead? Yes! Unperson? NO!" . . . $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 10:02


Are people feeling squeamish about re-employing the undead? You can start with an aggressive PR campaign. Even if you can't alter how people view zombie colleagues you can at least change what's the PC way of talking about them. They didn't die, they took a power dirt nap. They're not undead, they rejoined the living. Remember, if home is where the heart is then a cardiac arrest is a house arrest, and at Necrocorpolis LLC we believe in giving convicts a second chance so that's why we rehired Joe who died of a heart attack.


Now you don't have to worry about retirement or even death getting in the way of a proper handover, reducing disruption to productivity and ensuring stability in the corporate culture. You can even ensure lifelong(ahem) employment if need be. In fact, zombies are likely to be more productive than their colleagues simply because their continued existence is entirely dependent on their jobs. With these facts it should be easy to convince investors and management.

Untapped markets

This resurrection process has massive export potential in certain Asian countries like Japan, where the zaibatsus (used to) promise lifelong employment. With this new tech they can now fulfill their promise to the letter. Colleague died due to overwork? Why not make things right by bringing him/her back to keep on working?

Employee rights

Having toxic behaviour issues in your workplace? Did your colleague commit suicide due to bullying? Raise him/her back from the dead so that s/he can set the record straight and denounce those whose actions caused their original predicament. Making a show of allowing your employees to air their grievances even after their initial "power dirt nap" should be great for your corporate image.


This approach is not suitable for all kind of jobs.

Think of corporate companies: I hear stories from colleagues who had to manually fill a timesheet to register their worked hours until few years ago, while I simply swipe a badge, or other accounts of how using a PC was considered a status symbol in the office.

So, you don't want to apply this method to jobs with high knowledge turnover rate, where your zombies would suffer from technology gap. Instead you want to apply it to jobs with well consolidated and slow or no changing knowledge. Think of violin making, or some other craftsmanship intensive job. Resurrect a Stradivari, and the violins he will continue making will repay your investment with a 3 digits figure.


Under the circumstances you describe, there's literally no reason I can see why every person wouldn't commit suicide at 25 or 30 to retain their youth and "live" forever. Just cost, but what's a little money compared to eternity?

If I were a necromancer, I'd set up a payment plan system for them after death.

Now if you lose some of your faculties, such as the ability to learn and grow your mind, or become reliant on the necromancer's continued life, that'd be a potential problem.

For your hypothetical business though, there's no reason not to do this.
New hires are generally considered to not add value to the business for at least a month, perhaps more depending on the nature of the work. Meaning you're dropping many thousands of dollars a month on staff that barely contribute.

A resurrected worker, now indentured to the company, with all their institutional knowledge and skills intact? That's extraordinarily valuable. Loss of institutional knowledge can sink companies if it's not accounted for.
RL example: A company I worked for imploded shortly after I left despite my attempt to document my knowledge of our systems, there was simply so much complexity involved!

Now you have a workforce with massively reduced turnover of staff, far longer hours and you can essentially build a perfect team by cherry-picking anyone who has the skills you need.
Given their minimal requirements you could store them in the basement and construct your team from a roster like a Fantasy Football team for each project.
Your productivity is going to explode.
You'd certainly want to employ your own in-house necromancy team as part of Human Resources.
Nobody wants the ultimate power of life and death over your staff to be outside the walls of your business!


As a leader of the conservative party, you should know that anything you develop which is profitable inevitably leads to taxation by the liberal party. Expect the liberal party to impose a zombie tax and decomposition abatement fee on all resurrected employees. You must invest in lawyers to pass an extension of the Voting Rights Act that allows resurrected employees to have full state and federal voting rights in order to squash those new taxes. Next, the necromancer fees for an industrialized nation are sure to be higher than similar fees in developing nations, so your zombie employees may still not be as profitable as FOREIGN zombies working in foreign factories. How will you protect the livelihood of domestic necromancers and zombies?


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