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Understanding How Unemployment Insurance Benefits Work for Both Employees and Employers

Updated on April 22, 2016
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Ms. Clark has managed the administrative duties of several small businesses as well as collected unemployment on occasion herself.

Having run the administrative end of several small businesses, I learned how to navigate the requirements for unemployment insurance for our employees. It seems to me there are a lot of people who do not understand how unemployment insurance works, and some people even want to equate unemployment benefits with welfare of some sort that is paid to recipients by the government with tax dollars. Hopefully this hub will help clear up some misunderstandings.

Unemployed

People who have many skills have more options when looking for a new job.
People who have many skills have more options when looking for a new job. | Source

How Unemployment Is Determined For Employers

Employers are required to pay into their state’s unemployment program for each of their employees according to the number of hours each employee works and the amount of wages or salary each of their employees earns. Some employers may be exempt from paying into unemployment insurance because of the type of business they operate or because they have very few employees. This varies from one state to another.

It is generally accepted that the wages and salaries of employees will be somewhat lower to offset this expense that is incurred by their employer for their benefit. If unemployment insurance were not paid by their employer, presumably their salaries/wages would be higher. For that reason, unemployment benefits are considered part of an employee’s wages.

Just as some employers pay into health insurance programs so that their employees will have access to healthcare when needed, they also pay into the unemployment insurance program to help their employees get through periods of unemployment. The difference is mainly that employers are required to pay into the unemployment insurance program, where they may have a choice of whether or not to provide health insurance benefits to their employees.

When employers pay into the unemployment program, they NEVER GET THEIR MONEY BACK even if none of their employees ever collects a penny from the program. Generally large employers like Verizon or Wal-Mart pay more into unemployment insurance than small companies, for the obvious reason that they employ more people.

Generally there are no tax dollars going into the unemployment insurance program. The market crash of 2008 changed that temporarily. Normally a person cannot collect unemployment benefits for more than 6 months, but because the economy was, and is so horrible, the federal government (and some state governments) subsidized the unemployment programs of various states so that people who could not find jobs within 6 months would receive benefits for longer than usual. The usual period for collecting benefits for 26 weeks was extended for some people for as many as 99 weeks. Again, this is a temporary measure and is not the case in every single state.

How Does a Person Qualify For Unemployment Benefits?

There are different conditions under which a person can collect unemployment benefits. Not everyone qualifies for unemployment benefits, and some people will receive no benefits even if they lose their job through no fault of their own.

First of all, there must be benefits available to the employee that is laid off. Here in Texas, a laid off employee’s benefits are determined by how many hours and how much pay they earned during the quarter 13 to 15 months prior to the time they are filing to collect benefits.

A quarter, in this situation is a three-month period. There are 12 months in the year, and the year is divided into quarters, or 3-month periods. Jan-March, April-June, July-Sept., and Oct.-Dec.

If you were to apply for unemployment benefits on April 3, 2012, the unemployment commission here in Texas would look back at your work record 1 year and 1 quarter back in time, or Jan-March of 2011. Your benefits would be based on your wages/salary in that quarter from 2011. If you did not work during that quarter, you would receive no benefits. If you were earning only $7.50 an hour for 20 hours a week, your benefit would be based on those earnings even though the job you have just been laid off from was 40+ hours a week at $15.00 an hour.

The benefit an unemployed person usually gets will be approximately one third of what their weekly check was during the quarter in which their benefits are based. In the above example, one third of the pay earned in the quarter Jan-March in 2011 would be the person’s benefit if s/he applied for and qualified for unemployment benefits on April 3, 2012.

Just as there is a minimum wage, so there is usually a minimum unemployment benefit in most states. The minimum unemployment benefit in Texas for qualified recipients is $243.00 a week. It may be more or less in other states.

If you live in a state other than Texas, check with your unemployment, or state employment agency, to see how benefits are determined in your state. There may be some differences.

More Qualifications For Unemployment Benefits

People who are terminated for cause cannot collect unemployment benefits in most states. People who quit their jobs cannot collect unemployment benefits in many states.

Here are the exceptions to those rules:

If an employee becomes physically disabled for some reason, and that prevents them from doing their job, and their employer refuses to make reasonable accommodations for their disability (give them a different job within the company that does not have the same impossible physical requirements, etc.), they may be able to collect unemployment benefits even though they have quit their job.

If an employee is terminated and the state workforce commission determines they were wrongfully terminated, they may be able to collect unemployment benefits.

Every unemployment claim is investigated to determine if an applicant is entitled to collect benefits or not. If it is determined that a person does not qualify for benefits, s/he can file an appeal. That process is explained in the booklet you should receive from your state unemployment commission in the event you file for unemployment benefits and you are denied.

Requirements For Continuing To Receive Unemployment Benefits Once You Qualify

Most states have requirements that a person receiving benefits must meet in order to get those benefits and keep those benefits. In order to know what your requirements are, you should check with your state unemployment commission or agency. This information should be included in the booklet you should receive if you apply for unemployment benefits, and should also be available on your unemployment commission’s website. Requirements may vary somewhat from one applicant to another, so you should receive a letter from your unemployment commission specifying exactly what your requirements are.

Here in Texas, a person receiving unemployment benefits may not turn down any job referral or any job offer unless that referral or job offer is for a job they cannot physically do, or are not qualified for. Also, if the pay is considerably less than they would normally earn, they may turn the job offer, or job referral down.

Here in Texas, after a certain amount of time has passed during which an unemployed person receiving unemployment benefits has not found another job, that unemployment benefit recipient is required to lower his/her wage/salary requirements based on their most recent job, by 20-25%. That means they can lose their benefits if they turn down a job because it does not pay as well as their most previous job. They must reduce their wage/salary expectations or requirements by 20-25% (exactly how much will be specified by their unemployment commission), but not lower than the state minimum wage.

Also, an unemployment beneficiary must make a minimum number of job searches every week. It is important to keep good records on the job searches because the unemployment commission will randomly request proof that these job searches or applications were done. Unemployment benefits can be lost because a person either did not do the job searches, or did not keep satisfactory records to prove they did the job searches. At some point you will be asked for proof of your job searches. It is not a question of if, but when. Be prepared with good records of your job searches.

There is one exception to these requirements. If an employee is laid off temporarily, often times their employer does not want them to search for another job. They want that employee to be available to return to work as soon as there is enough work to keep them busy. If their laid off employees were to search for a job during this slow time for some employers, they just might find a better job and then they would not return to their original employer. In a case like this an employer will inform the unemployment commission that no work searches are desired or required. They want their employees to collect unemployment benefits while work is slow, and they want to assure as much as possible that their employee will return to work when needed.

I have personally experienced this situation when I had a job that was seasonal and that required some special training. My employer was happy to provide unemployment benefits to help me get through those periods when there was no work, and even directly stated to me that they preferred I not search for interim work. They wanted assurance I would return when work resumed.

Remember, employers do not get any money back from the program even if none of their employees ever collect benefits. Unemployment insurance benefits both the employee when they lose their jobs through no fault of their own, and it benefits employers who do not want to lose good skilled employees because of a work slowdown.

Tax dollars do not usually contribute to unemployment insurance. The current situation is unusual and burdensome for many small employers, and that is the reason why the federal government, and in some cases state governments, have stepped in to pick up the slack in keeping unemployment benefits available to people who cannot find jobs.

Mistakes People Make Regarding Unemployment Benefits

The biggest mistakes laid off employees usually make:

1. Not applying for benefits in the first place, even if they quit, or have been fired.

2. Not following scrupulously, the requirements for keeping those benefits flowing, i.e., doing required job searches, or following through on job referrals from the unemployment commission, etc.

The biggest mistakes employers make:

1. Not understanding how the unemployment program works and thinking it is not worth their while to educate themselves about it. Most large employers know their responsibilities and how to make the program work for them. A lot of medium sized and small employers do not.

2. Not returning the inquiry forms their unemployment commission requests from them stipulating the reason for laying off, or terminating an employee, etc.

3. Not showing up for the hearing that may be set regarding a former employee who has filed for unemployment benefits. Just like many lawsuits, if you don’t show, you lose by default.

© 2012 C E Clark

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    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 8 days ago from North Texas

      M Oswald, thank you for your inquiry. I have known many people who feared filing unemployment claims for fear of offending their employers, but I have always done so even when coworkers feared retribution.

      Your employer should realize that losing your paycheck will be a hardship and expect you to file as a result. Even so, I have known employers who would not call workers back if they filed and who would refuse to hire in the first place if they knew a person had ever in their lives collected unemployment or received food stamps or any other type of public assistance.

      Unemployment is not public assistance. It is insurance to help you get through periods of unemployment through no fault of your own.

      Employers must pay into the unemployment fund and never receive a refund even if none of their employees ever file. Presumably your wages/salary would have been a little higher if your employer didn't have to pay into the unemployment program on your behalf. So in a manner of speaking, the money your employer paid for unemployment insurance came at the expense of what might have been higher wages for you.

      I can't tell you what to do. I understand you may face repercussions if you file and they may add to your hardship. I have always filed anyway and taken my chances, and been lucky that none of my employers held grudges. Or if they did, I never suffered as a result.

      By law, you are entitled to file and your state unemployment office will determine if you qualify for benefits. I'm sure there's probably a law that forbids employers from seeking retribution, but I also know how hard it would be, and how expensive it would be to prove an employer had done so.

      You might want to consult with one of the advisors at your unemployment office about your fears before filing in order to learn exactly what your recourse options would be if your employer decides to get even somehow. You might want to look at working for a different dental office as well, once you're able to resume that kind of work.

      Frankly, I have not concerned myself about whether my former employers would be offended if I filed for unemployment. I consider an attitude of that sort unethical and really don't want to work for an employer who would punish, or attempt to punish me, for taking advantage of my legal rights, or from keeping my bills paid.

      At the same time, I understand you may not want to take that risk, even though there is no guarantee you will be called back to work by this particular employer when the 4 or more months have passed. You might also want to look into jobs you can make do with while you're waiting for your wrist to heal.

      I'm sorry I can't be more helpful on this issue. Consult with the people at your unemployment office as I suggested and then you will have your best information to help you decide what you want to do. You have my best wishes for a good outcome whatever you decide to do.

    • profile image

      M Oswald 9 days ago

      I was let go due to an injury that did not occur at work. I am a hygienist and I have torn a tendon in my wrist. My doctor gave me a note stating I needed 4+ months off to heal; my employer felt he couldn't hold my position. I want to file a claim, but I am afraid he will be upset with me.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 2 months ago from North Texas

      llyn Vargas, thank you for your inquiry. The insurance claim is intended to pay the cost of medical treatment/expenses. Whoever is obligated to pay that expense is the entity that should receive the insurance payment. Very often the insurance company pays the medical services provider directly and furnishes the insured with proof that it was paid.

    • profile image

      Ilyn Vargas 2 months ago

      My cousin had an accident during work,and he was treated, after he went out to hospital,his sick leave and insurance was been file.

      The management told him that the insurance claim will go to the company not to him.Is it right?

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 9 months ago

      Thank you. I appreciate you kind words. While I would have prefered to keep things as they were it worked out alright for me. The week after I got word I applied for and got a job offer with the company that canceled my contract. I started working at my new job, better pay and closer to home. I found it miraculous. May everyone who gets a pink slip this year do at least as well.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 9 months ago from North Texas

      Uriah Lendsey, thank you for stopping by and making an inquiry. My best advice here is to call your local state unemployment office and ask them this question.

      I'm just guessing here, but you have to have worked a certain number of weeks in the year (usually 18) before you can qualify for benefits and you have to have made at least $116 a week during those weeks. Possibly you haven't done that? Call you local office and get some definite answers. That's what our tax dollars are paying them for -- to answer your questions among other things.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 9 months ago from North Texas

      Robert Sacchi, I'm sorry to hear you're out of work. Hope you find something you will like soon. Seems like the economy is better for the time being and there are more jobs available. Not sure it will stay that way with the change of the guard, but I certainly wish you the best of luck in finding something you'll like and that will meet your requirements.

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      Uriah Lendsey 9 months ago

      What does it mean when they say I have to go back to work and earmarks at least 163 dollars or more in order to continue my claim?

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 10 months ago from North Texas

      LouiseKristie, thank you for sharing your situation with me and my readers. You should not be required to take work that is vastly different from or that has a lower pay rate than what you were doing for this company before. Physical field labor sounds very different from office work for a variety of reason. I hope you let the people at your meeting know that when they questioned you. It is physically difficult compared to what you applied for and accepted from this company and you should not be required to accept this type of work. Definitely fight any effort to intimidate you into accepting the field work.

      You should not be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits for turning down physical field work because it is extremely different from the kind of work you agreed to do and did do before. If you are turned down for unemployment you should seriously consider consulting with an employment lawyer. If you and your lawyer agree it’s worth fighting be sure to ask for attorney’s fees along with reinstatement of your unemployment benefits. You should not have to resort to hiring an attorney to get what is rightfully yours and if it comes to that, your employer should pay for that attorney as well as your unemployment benefits.

      If this issue has been settled I hope it was in your favor. If it wasn’t in your favor you should still consider consulting an employment attorney to make sure you can’t get a negative ruling reversed. If you consult an attorney, be sure to consult one that does a lot of employment law or who is certified in this area. A lot of people do not realize all lawyers do not know everything about every legal issue, it isn’t humanly possible and so most attorneys specialize in a few areas of law. An employment attorney should know employment law thoroughly and if s/he doesn’t, look for a different one.

      Best of luck to you!

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 10 months ago

      This Hub is more important to me now. I got word on Monday I'll be out of a job on January 1.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 10 months ago from North Texas

      Lori, I'm sorry to have taken so long to respond to your inquiry, but I very much appreciate your taking the time to explain your situation.

      Did the employee you refer to work for you for a long time? A year or 2 or more? It's likely that the way unemployment benefits are determined may be playing a part in this. I explained in this article how benefits are determined by going back a year and a quarter (referring to a 3-month period here such as Jan., Feb., Mar. as a quarter).

      When your former employee left her most recent job it's possible that when 'they' went back a year and a quarter, that you were still her employer and so benefits will be determined by how many hours and how much pay she received from you as her employer.

      For example, if she filed for unemployment in September 2016 'they' will go back to September 2015 plus the quarter Before the one that includes Sept. (April, May, June 2015). If this employee was working for you during the 2nd quarter of 2015 (in this scenario), her record as your employee at that time would be the one they base her benefits on.

      Even though her benefits are based on earnings when she was working for you (if that is the case), her most recent employer should be the one paying them — and that depends on whether she even qualifies for benefits. Whether she qualifies for benefits is a different investigation that will involve her most recent employer. If she qualifies for benefits it is possible they will be based on earnings when she still worked for you.

      Since I don’t know if this is the case, but it’s the only thing I can think of without more information, I would tell you to take advantage of what you are paying for. You have paid into the unemployment program as required by law, and so call your local state employment agency and ask them what is going on. Don’t be afraid to question what is happening or to ask them for an explanation. It may seem like a lot of red tape and very complicated, but I think you will find it much easier to get the information you want than you imagine.

      If you plan to continue to be an employer I recommend you take every opportunity to learn all about unemployment benefits and the insurance program generally. Learn how to make it work for you. Always respond to inquiries fro the unemployment office and never be afraid to pick up the phone and ask questions. Like anything else, the more you learn about it the easier it becomes. Believe me, understanding unemployment will be a great relief to you and it will give you a new confidence.

      Another way to avoid paying unemployment is to have a plan for improving the behavior and performance of problem employees. When they exhibit that they are going to be a problem, have a talk with them and tell them you are going to put them on a program to help them improve their performance. Tell them this is for their own benefit (it’s really a benefit to both of you) because it will give them an opportunity to improve their productivity and performance because if they can’t bring it up to your requirements you will have no choice but to replace them.

      Before you talk to them make a plan with definite points of achievement that will show how well they are improving. Make sure they know you will be giving them a performance review and ask them to sign an agreement after you’ve explained it saying that you have explained what is required and that they understand what you said. They understand if they do not meet your requirements that they will be terminated.

      So make a plan of various things they can do to improve their performance. Make sure they know you’ll be monitoring their progress. If necessary put another employee in charge of helping them modify their behavior or learn how to do whatever part of their job they aren’t performing well at.

      Give them a reasonable time to make improvements and make sure they know that when the program is completed satisfactorily they will still be terminated if they go back to their old undesirable habits. Reasonable can be anywhere from 2 weeks to a few months depending on what the problem is and how severe the necessary change will be. Make sure to be reasonable in the time allowed and the steps they must follow as well as what you will accept as improvement.

      State unemployment offices like to see that you have taken reasonable steps to help your employee improve his/her performance, and if you do this in a fair minded way, you may end up with an exceptional employee — but if you must still terminate them, you can show that you made every effort to help them improve. When employees are severed for cause they rarely get benefits. One way they can get benefits is if you have no plan in place to help them improve their performance/behavior and that you have given them no warnings as they got closer to termination through undesirable performance/behavior.

      This is another subject you can discuss with an agent at your state unemployment office. Ask for their advice on creating such a plan and by doing so make sure it meets with their requirements/approval.

      I hope this has given you some food for thought and been at least a little bit of help. Please do call your state unemployment office, get to know them better, and ask them to explain what is happening so you will know exactly as it pertains to you and your business. Best wishes!

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 10 months ago from North Texas

      Mike, thank you for sharing your experience with me and my readers. I think anytime a person is qualified to collect unemployment benefits they should do so. Unemployment insurance is part of the cost an employer bears for having employees and if it weren't required they might raise your wages/salary a little higher. It's part of the benefits package your employer provides you as their employee.

      Most people don't think twice about collecting on their health insurance if they incur medical bills, and there's no reason not to collect unemployment benefits if you qualify for them. After all, you pay for unemployment insurance just the same as you do medical insurance.

      Telling perspective employers that you planned to retire after a certain amount of time was certainly the considerate thing to do, but if the tables were turned it's unlikely they would have told you the position they were seeking to hold would be a temporary one. Some employers are up front about that, but not all. Of course there are never any guarantees a position will last or that a person will hold a job for any particular period of time. Things happen to employers and employees alike that can cut a job short. Accidents, family situations, company bankruptcies and the list goes on. Even if both you and your employer expected your job to last for 5 years or more, there are no guarantees that would happen under the best of circumstances. I think you were considerate to inform your possible employers of your intentions, but I'm not sure it was truly necessary.

      Thanks again for sharing your situation and your thoughts.

    • profile image

      LouiseKristie 11 months ago

      I was laid off full time work due to lack of work, but offered possible 8-16 hours of work out in the field physical labor, not guaranteed or hit the streets. Im a 54 year old woman who's done office work for 30 years. I said I needed to go find work and filed for unemployment. At adjudication I'm being questioned why I didn't take the work. Will I be disqualified.

    • profile image

      Lori 11 months ago

      I'm an employer who has been paying on a claim, that in my opinion should not have qualified since the employee was terminated due to the disruptive behavior she demonstrated towards coworkers and all levels of management, including myself. She was actually going to be fired 2 months prior, but I gave her 1 last chance because I'm a freaking softy sometimes. I want to know why the employee has starting receiving benefits again after a few months of not (she is working and earning more now). I thought I was done with this situation a few months ago, until I just got another employer questionnaire for UC.

    • profile image

      Mike 11 months ago

      Hi. I live in California and my position with a large international employer was eliminated when I was 63. I took retirement with a pension, and a severance package. I was eligible for and took Unemployment Insurance after 6 months (at 63 1/2).

      I did look for work and applied for similar positions on the internet every week, but did not WANT to get another job because I had planned on retiring at age 64 or at the very maximum at 66. In addition, I felt that I should not have taken another job with a new employer for only a year or two (and then resigned to retire) without being honest with them upfront--which obviously would have tampered their interest in me. If I did, this would have been dishonest and costly to the new employer. I flet I was due the unemployment insurance paid by my employer as partial replacement income because they eliminated my position.

      I would appreciate your thoughts and comments.

      Thanks.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 14 months ago from North Texas

      3angelz

      Thank you for your enquiry. I’m sorry to hear about all the problems you are having with your current employer. I would recommend you contact your local state unemployment office and explain your situation to them and pose all of your questions to them. They will be able to give you absolute answers and those are the kind of answers you need so that you know what you must do to resolve this situation of slow paychecks and unsatisfactory employment.

      Mondays, especially mornings, are extremely busy at the unemployment office. The wait, whether in person or on the phone, can be very lengthy. Generally afternoons are best for contacting them, and the closer to Friday the better, as everyone has the idea to contact that office first thing Monday morning, or as near to it as possible.

      If your paychecks are regularly a week or more late, I would also contact an attorney who specializes in employment law. That attorney specializing in employment law will know if you have a cause of actin against your employer for any reason, and may be able to work out any issues with your employer without court action.

      A surprising number of employers, usually small businesses, are uninformed about laws that effect different facets of their business, such as employment law. They make mistakes as a result. Of course it is the responsibility of new business owners to learn what laws effect their businesses so to avoid breaking them.

      It is very difficult to provide a stable environment for oneself or children if a paycheck is undependable, and if one has earned that paycheck then it should be delivered on time. I hope you will contact your unemployment office this afternoon if you can find the time, and get the answers you need asap. I really hope you will be able to resolve these issues soon and improve your situation. Best of luck!

    • profile image

      3angelz 14 months ago

      Hello.

      I have a difficult sitiation, i work for a franchise in tx. I am a stylist who gets commission. I was injured in 2013 and did not return to work until 2015. I worked for one year left and was rehired at the same company but a new franchise owner making at least three times what I made before. My Workers comp claim has just ended with the previous franchisee (in case that matters). I started working with a new owner Feb this yr. We are supposed to be paid the 1st and 15th of every month however over half of my paychecks have been paid late to me by 2 days or more. I only work 8 days a pay period and hours vary, If it's slow I can leave early, all my wages are commissions and tips. I work about 24 hrs/wk. However this job pays my bills. I know the laws regarding Fair Labor and wages and employment, so my question is this, does Texas consider it fair ground to quit a job due to the constant lack of on-time payments?

      There's more, I am also currently part-time employed. Scheduled 30 hours a week at a new job I just started 3 weeks ago however this job will pay 2 - 3 times LESS then what I make at the other job. (I have not received my first check, but it will not be a "normal paycheck" as it provided paid training)

      Can I recieve unemployment from the first job while I search for another job? With equal pay? (There is at least one complaint filed against him for this, I plan on filing and a coworker quit today and said she would, even if she doesn't) if there's proof could this change things?

      There's still more... I have actually now worked for three franchise owners. The first owner was in a class action lawsuit for non-payment of overtime wages, which I was a part of (circa 2012). I thought nothing of it. But now this franchise owner is doing the same thing.

      Is there any way to hold the company/corporation as a whole responsible and not just the individual franchise owners? It appears they are careless in the way they treat employees and corporate doesn't seem to mind them doing business this way.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 15 months ago from North Texas

      Robert Sacchi, thank you for your insight. I agree!

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 15 months ago

      Thank you. Yes, the easiest way to avoid flack or discrimination trouble is to use the "need not apply" phrase. This doesn't stop an employer from throwing away a resume with an employment gap or other information that has things they don't like.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 15 months ago from North Texas

      Robert Sacchi, thank you for your inquiry. I'm sorry to be so long getting back to you. For a while many employers said right in their job listings that if you were not currently employed they would not even consider your application. Others said if you had been unemployed for 6 months or longer they would not consider your application. I personally was told by a recruiter who called me that I would not be considered (2008) since I was not currently employed. Employers no longer put these things in their listings because some of them experienced some flack as a result. Not placing it in their listings doesn't prevent them from having a policy not to consider applications from unemployed people.

      Homeless people have little chance of digging themselves out of the situation they're in because most employers won't even consider them for work. Yet everyone feels obligated to spit on them and sneer at them because they are without a job and homeless.

      I'm sure every employer has their own attitude about unemployed applicants. Some may be willing to consider them while others do not. Those who will consider an unemployed applicant may punish them in other ways such as you mention, by offering lower compensation, etc.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 15 months ago

      Good points. Does a longer period of unemployment make you more unemployable? When I got a permanent job it paid 60% less than what my previous job paid, and the benefits were much less also.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 15 months ago from North Texas

      Robert Sacchi, thank you for reading and commenting on this article! You should have been able to collect unemployment benefits while you were working your first part-time job. Generally unemployment will make up the difference between your actual earnings from a PT job and your usual earnings from a full-time job.

      Generally people who quit their jobs or who are fired (especially for cause) will not get benefits, however every claim is investigated and you may be one of the exceptions. Always file for benefits so that the reason you don't get them won't be because you didn't file.

      Unemployment is an insurance program run by the government and employers must pay into it for every employee whether they like it or not. They will not get a penny back even if none of their employees ever collect.

      If employers weren't required to pay into this program they would be able to pay employees higher wages/salaries. Therefore this benny is part of your compensation and should be utilized when needed just like you utilize your health insurance when needed.

      It really makes no sense to accept a job that won't begin to pay the bills just so the neighbors and other busybodies will be happy you accepted a job over unemployment benefits. Keep in mind that most heroes are dead. Is it worth it to undermine your own best interests and those of your family just to impress the neighbors who don't have to live on the limited income or any results of your decision? Does that pat on the back from them really mean that much? Can you eat it?

      The quickest way to lose burdensome weight is to stop caring what other people think. People who don't have to walk in your shoes, live in your skin, or deal with your experiences, and who really don't know even half of the details of your situation always have an opinion about what you should do and often like to share that opinion. People who are overly concerned with your character and your lifestyle don't have enough to do and should get a life of their own. Why do you care about impressing them? And if you're honest, are they ever truly satisfied with your decisions?

      Never be afraid to collect unemployment benefits that you are entitled to. They are there to help you and your family get through a difficult jobless period. Always file for them when applicable -- and that is when you have lost your job for any reason, or quit your job for any reason..

      Make job decisions based on yours and your family's needs, not on what people who don't have to live with the decision think. Collect on your health and life insurance the same way. :)

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 15 months ago

      Very informative. I made a big mistaske the last time I was unemployed. After a couple of months unemployed I got a part time job as a product demonstrator. Invariably I would make less money than unemployment was giving me. From a practical standpoint I was working for nothing. In desparation I took a job as a car salesman, which meant I had to quit the part time job. A couple of weeks into the car salesman job I got terminated, I wasn't able to sell any cars. Since I had previously quit the part time job I was ineligible to collect unemployment.

    • profile image

      Au fait 16 months ago

      Sammy, thank you for coming by! If your hours have been cut back considerably you can collect unemployment without quitting. Unemployment will make up the difference between what you earned before your hours were shortened and the present time.

      There's a possibility you could collect unemployment if you quit, but if cutting your hours is causing financial difficulty, cutting them out completely is bound to cause even more distress. Better to stay put at your job, collect unemployment for the lost hours, and look for another job.

    • profile image

      Sammy 16 months ago

      If I'm working full time and the company restructure and they make me part time can I quit and get unemployment?

    • profile image

      Au fait 16 months ago

      DavidT9343, thank you for reading, and for your inquiry. All employers are required to pay into their state's unemployment fund according to how many employees they have, the number of hours generally worked by their employees, and the wages earned for that time period. They begin paying in when they begin employing people.

      Employers do not get a refund if no employee ever receives benefits. On the other hand, if an employee or employees draw out benefits that exceed the amount paid in, an employer will have to pay in more to bring their account up to the maintenance level required by their state.

      How many employees does your former company have? If there are several and all are being laid off because the company is closing, then most likely all will qualify to collect benefits. With so many people collecting it is likely your employer's account will be depleted, and your employer will have to pay more in. If there are several employees collecting the account will likely be depleted whether you collect or not.

      Every employer is required to pay in for each employee they have in accordance with that employee's wages and hours worked. That is the reason many people advice people to collect if they can because it's part of your wages. If your employer didn't have to pay in as a protection for you in case you lose your job, s/he would be able to pay you a higher wage/salary and might very well do so. Unemployment insurance is one of the bennies you get for working.

      If you do not apply for unemployment you will not get any. It's not like vacation pay that accumulates and is sometimes handed to you when you separate from the company without your asking for it. I have explained in this text how your benefits are determined.

      You have my best wishes. I hope all comes out well for you and your employer.

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      DavidT9343 17 months ago

      Hi, new here. I live in NY and work in NJ. Me and my boss are pretty close kinda like a father son thing, but he has been forced to retire and close doors. I would hate to burn such a important bridge by applying for unemployment if he has to pay out of pocket.....I am wondering does unemployment force him to pay after i'm laid-off or is it accumulated overtime and given to me by the state via their own account for employees ?

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      Au fait, the author of this timely article. 17 months ago

      Chad, thank you for coming by. Since your benefits must be used up by August of this year, and there are still benefits available, I would call your local unemployment office and ask them why you have not heard from them. Normally you should hear something within 2 weeks of filing a claim. Usually later in the week is a better time to call them (right now) as the waiting/on hold time can be very, very long earlier in the week when everyone is calling. Best wishes!

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      Chad 17 months ago

      I was getting unemployment benefits from company A off and on for 8 mths. My claim says stays effective until August 2016 but I've been laid off twice. I got benefits in august went back to work then laid off again in March then went back to work in April for same company but was for only 5 days to rig down then laid off again so I'm getting worried it's taking so long to get an answer on my newest claim.. There's still money left I didn't collect

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      Kristy, thank you for reading this article and for your inquiry as well. I hope you found answers to some of your questions in the text and are now more informed about how unemployment insurance works.

      It would depend on how long you worked for Company B. If it was only for a week or maybe a month or so the answer is yes, you could file for unemployment again (depending on why you left Company B) and receive your unemployment benefits as before.

      You may remember that I said benefits are based on what you were making 1 year and 1 quarter back in time, (Jan, Feb. Mar. is a quarter. Oct. Nov. Dec., is another quarter, for example.).

      So if you worked for Company B for 6 months or more the amount of money you were making a year and a quarter back may be different. However, if you qualify for unemployment benefits then you should be able to go back to collecting as you were before working for Company B. The benefits may reflect a difference in your wages/salary.

      The BIG question is, why aren't you working for Company B anymore? Did you quit or were you fired? Except for rare circumstances, if either of these is the reason you aren't working for Company B anymore, you will probably not qualify for unemployment benefits.

      If your unemployment office accepts your reason for quitting a job as a good reason, you will likely get benefits again, or if they believe after an investigation that you were wrongfully fired, again you may get benefits. If you quit because you are tired of the job or any reason not considered responsible or reasonable, you will not get benefits. Likewise if your employer can prove you made glaring mistakes and even with their tutelage and patience made no improvement, you will not qualify for benefits.

      Actually, if your prospective employer inquires from your previous employers as to whether or not they would consider hiring you again if an opening you qualified for presented itself, you want them to say YES. If they say no, that is a riddle a new employer doesn't want to have to solve. It could be any reason at all from sloppy work, not getting along with other workers, and really, there's no end as to why a previous employer might not be willing to rehire. A no to that question is often the end of any hopes you might have of getting that new job.

      Employers are usually careful about what they say because of possible lawsuits. Lawsuits take up time and money that could be used somewhere else. If the community is aware of it, a lawsuit can affect how they are thought of by the general public including prospective employees and customers. Even when someone wins a lawsuit there are expenses involved.

      Clearly lawsuits have been brought against employers for sharing too much about an employees work record and it has cost those employers in some cases dearly. That is the reason they are usually careful about what information they share and limit that information considerably.

      I cannot give you a definitive answer to your last question, but unless an employer knows someone personally working at your state unemployment office, it is unlikely they will have access to any information about you that your unemployment office has. I would expect to be illegal to share any information on you with anyone but other government agencies, and often even that is illegal.

      If a person working in the state employment office were to share info on you with a friend or anyone, that person would be putting their job in jeopardy if discovered, and I believe you could sue both that person and the unemployment office that s/he represented at the time, whether government or privately operated.

      Privacy is a big deal whether it relates to an employer/employee, a health facility or practitioner, school records on anything at all, a private employment office or state employment facility, unemployment insurance, or really, anything at all. Any entity that crosses the line by sharing personal information they have collected in an official capacity takes a big risk.

      You may have noticed that for the last several years prospective employers ask job applicants to sign a paper giving them permission to do a background check and to ask questions about an applicant from anyone they wish. They point out that when you sign you agree not to hold anyone legally responsible for anything they say or any information they provide regardless of the source. Of course if you don't sign your application will not be considered.

      I haven't heard of any challenges to this common procedure, but I would expect there to be some since a person's livelihood is at risk. Very few people in this world are without any enemies at all. Any person could, according to the disclaimer on the document , say anything at all and not be held responsible however huge and outrageous the lie.

      For answers to these questions I always recommend that you defer to your local unemployment office. Laws on unemployment insurance do vary from state to state, so call your local office and ask them these same questions. Very likely you'll end up talking to someone miles away. The information you're talking about will all come out in an investigation anyway, so there's no reason to fear talking to your local unemployment office.

      Hope something here is helpful. Good luck whatever you decide to do.

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      Kristy 2 years ago

      Couple things:

      1). If I'm on unemployment from Company A, and I accept a part time 1099 job from company B, (which pays more than what I'm collecting, so I report it of course and stop collecting) - and then lose that 1099 job, can I be reinstated and counting to collect on the claim from Company A?

      2) something you say about employers giving out "yes" or "no" to hiring again really freaked me out. My employer said they would not share anything about me just when I worked there. I'm now wondering why I'm not getting jobs - I have typically not had an issue and wondering if my employer said yes??? That seems so unfair without knowing the story.

      3). Also do potential employers have access to unemployment records, like knowing you are on it, or what your stated reasons for leaving were?

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      esmil, you are very welcome and I wish you the best of luck in receiving benefits and in finding a new job. Your Unemployment office has lots of programs and help available to you to find a new and hopefully better job, so take advantage of it -- your tax dollars at work. :)

    • profile image

      esmii 2 years ago

      Thank you so much for your advice and I've already applied

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      esmil, thank you for your interest in my article. Whenever you quit a job or are fired from or laid off fro a job or lose a job for any reason at all, file for unemployment the very next business day. Even if you think you will not receive the benefits ALWAYS file for unemployment. ALWAYS. Let the people at the unemployment do their job -- which is to determine if you qualify for benefits. I know lots of people who received them and had not planned to file for them because they thought they wouldn't get them. FILE ASAP!

    • profile image

      esmii 2 years ago

      hi I was working at Walmart for 7 months and they laid me off they told me my time was up o don't get but can I apply for unemployment

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Shyron, for coming by and leaving such a great comment. I hope this article will help unemployed people because many people who are unemployed for the first time really don't know what to do or how to do it. As a result a lot of them lose out on benefits they qualify for and which they are entitled to.

      Blessings to you too . .

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you PegCole17 for reading and commenting on this article and for your high praise. I've spent a lot of time on one side or the other of unemployment. People are often afraid of things they don't understand and as a result don't get the benefits they are entitled to.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      This article is really quite comprehensive in itself and the comments and stories of in depth examples of real world experiences are fascinating. Valuable and useful reading. Your knowledge of the subject is quite impressive.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Au fait, this is so informative and explains what a person needs to do when they lose their job. Most people will appreciate reading about what to do, they wake the following morning with the question in their minds of what do I do now?

      Do wait file for unemployement NOW.

      Thank you for helping the unemployed.

      Blessings my friend.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      audeo, thank you for stopping by and letting me know that this article as well as the one on what qualifies as a job search has been helpful to you. I often wonder if anyone is benefitting from them. I'm so glad it made things clearer and ultimately better for you.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Shyron, for commenting and for the votes and share. Yes, finding a job nowadays is a full time job in and of itself. That is largely because there just aren't enough good paying jobs.

      A lot of people don't seem to understand that just getting a job is not the goal, but getting a job that will pay a person's bills so they don't have to apply for public assistance because the pay is too low, is the real challenge. Lots of working poor people are homeless.

      Hope you're having a good week and that all is well with you and yours.

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      audeo 3 years ago

      Thank you so much for this information, I didn't realize how little I understood of the requirements and your other article helped too. Now I feel like I can do what I need to and not be dishonest in the process.

      Thank you also for your good wishes and keep up the good work!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      This is very good information, I was cleaning today and came across some of my job search information. I can't believe all the hoops you have to jump through.

      Voted up UAI and shared

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      audeo, thank you for stopping by. Yes, you could jeopardize your unemployment benefits by not doing a job search for the week, but whether your benefits would be jeopardized permanently, or just for that week you were unable to search for a job, is the question. I would recommend you call your local unemployment office to get the answer to that question, because it is subjective, and the outcome is likely to be determined by whomever is reviewing your account at the time.

      Have you read my article -- Do You Know What Qualifies As a Job Search While Collecting Unemployment Benefits?

      You need not actually apply for or interview for a job for your job search activity to count towards a job search. Does your friend have a newspaper, or could you get a newspaper while you're visiting her? Even if your friend lives in a different state, your searches there should count so long as you are truly willing to move if need be, should you find a job you are qualified for and would really be willing to accept if offered. Looking for that job counts as 1 job search every time you make a genuine effort to find it -- even if you don't find it.

      Does your friend have a computer you could use? Or could you take your lap top along on your trip and use your friend's wireless connection with your own computer to search for work on your local newspaper's site? Maybe search the online job listings sites like Monster or Simply Hired?

      In Texas, every time you genuinely search for a job on one of these sites, in the newspaper, or by calling a perspective employer to find out what jobs they may have available, it counts as a job search. You can also search a particular employer's website for new listings and that is a job search.

      Monster and Simply Hired make it possible, as does Texas WorkForce Commission, to search for, and even apply for their listed jobs online from their site. There are a lot of possibilities that will allow you to do job searches while you're visiting your friend and they need not take a lot of time. Just 30-60 minutes everyday can be enough time to search for and possibly find a great job.

      Think about ways you can maintain your job search and spend time with your friend too. Read my other article for ideas that will fit in with your visit.

      Very sorry to hear your friend's husband is not well. My best wishes to you in your job search, and to your friend for the best possible outcome to her situation as well.

    • profile image

      audeo 3 years ago

      Great article and good information. Here is my question.

      If you are collecting UI in Texas and cannot search or be available for a week, will that jeopardize being able to continue to receive benefits?

      I have a good out of town friend whose husband is very ill. If he passes, I would like to go to the funeral, but am concerned that if I am honest when I request benefits, I might lose them. Is there a good way to handle this?

      thanks!

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Mike, thanks for stopping in. If your wages are considerably lower for the same job or for any job offer than what you have been paid, then you should be able to turn that offer down.

      I always, always recommend that you file for unemployment benefits by the very next business day after you have been laid off, whether you think you will qualify for benefits or not. Don't take a chance on losing those important benefits because you failed to file or filed to late.

      Your state unemployment office will inform you of whether or not you qualify for benefits and there is no punishment for filing and being told no. I would expect you to qualify if, as I said, the pay for doing the same job is considerably lower than before. File for benefits and begin seeking other employment so you can show good faith in trying to find another job. Good luck!

    • profile image

      mike 3 years ago

      If the company you work for is bought out and you declined the new offer can you collect your unemployment benefits because your wages lower

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Lori, the trouble is (from what you've said) that you never contacted them and told them you had not received the cards until a year or more had passed. Most people, including myself, would have been on the phone within 2 weeks at most, to find out what was holding up the cards. The cards could have been tracked and replaced if need be at that time. It looks strange that so much time passed and you made no complaint about not having received the cards. I'm sure that's the problem.

      Even so, since the funds were never transferred from those cards to anybody, that should make it obvious that you never received the cards. I don't know of anyone who would just forget about the money that was on those cards.

      If you get no satisfaction from TX Workforce regarding this issue, I suggest you contact your state and federal representatives. If you don't already know what district you live in, find out, and contact your state legislator for that district and your federal legislator for that district. There's no guarantee they will be willing or able to help, but they do help people with various bureaucratic problems from time to time and you may get lucky.

      Go to http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Zip.aspx and put your TX zip code into the box and submit it. That will tell you who your federal and state representatives are. Contact their offices for help with this situation. With any luck, this being an election year, someone there will be willing to help with this issue. Good luck!

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      Lor 3 years ago

      I wrote three weeks back regarding unemployment not wanting to reissue my funds they took back. They claim because I did not activate the several cards they sent me after a year, they take back the funds. This is coming from the top and they do not want to reissue. I don't understand why they have such code and how it would apply to me, if i never received the cards.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Christina, thank you for your inquiry. I've never heard of unemployment benefits rolling over. I explain in this article how unemployment benefits are determined, so be sure to read that section.

      I'm not familiar with CA unemployment laws, so I would strongly suggest you contact your local state unemployment office in addition to filing for benefits.

      Always file for benefits when you lose your job even if you think you won't qualify. Lots of people lose benefits because they don't even file for them.

      If you held a full-time job previously and are now working only part-time, you can file for benefits that will help make up the difference between the money you are earning now and what you would earn if your job was full-time.

      For a definitive answer to your questions regarding the loss of benefits, contact your local state unemployment office.

    • profile image

      christina 3 years ago

      so even tho i have found a job parttime i should still collect those benefits that are owed to me through this opened case than? or does it roll over to the next lay off claim i apply for when this job ends cause i am working through a temp agency? Or will i lose those benefits if i dont collect them now, cause the open claim i have will end in July?? Please help me and clarify.. I live here in California

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      David, thank you for stopping by. Since it is the employer who laid you off that is requesting you work one day a week -- it is the same employer, same job, etc., yes, you have to accept that work if you want to claim unemployment benefits.

      Working one day a week will not prevent you from getting unemployment benefits. The money you make will be subtracted from the total you would normally receive if you didn't work at all. So you can still get a partial check for unemployment benefits.

      In most states your employer would have to put you back to work for the same or more hours as before he laid you off in order to prevent you from collecting unemployment benefits.

      It is possible you can still get paid for the 3 weeks you have been laid off without any work. Every state is different and I'm not familiar with S.C. laws. S.C. may have some law that won't allow you to collect if you work 1 day a week, but in most states you can collect so long as you aren't working full time or at least the same number of hours you worked before your layoff.

      Always file for unemployment benefits right away when you are laid off from work, whether you think you will qualify or not. The very next business day, or that night online, file for unemployment benefits, don't wait.

      Many people lose benefits because they didn't file quickly enough or because they think they won't qualify and don't even try. Let your unemployment office decide if you qualify. Don't try to second guess them. Don't take a chance of losing out on benefits that are rightfully yours.

      I suggest you discuss this with someone in your unemployment office. It's possible that your employer can get away with what s/he is doing, working you just one day a week, not telling you which day it will be, but that sounds like harassment to me. Your employer may not think you will check up on him/her regarding this strategy, but I would just to make sure it's legal. A lot of illegal activity occurs simply because no one questions it or turns it in.

      File for benefits and talk with an unemployment counselor at your state unemployment office about your situation. Your tax dollars are paying for that office and everything in it, so take advantage of the services there.

      Good luck!

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      David 3 years ago

      I have been layer off from a full time job. I waited three weeks before I file for hi.then when I filed my employer started calling me back for one day a week. Really messing me up just one because I end up making g lease money. Do I have to work that one day a week? Or will I cause me to lose power my hi.? I need at least three days to bring home enough and more my unemployment check cause they go by gross.I live in s.c. so what are my rights on being called in like that. I'd rather work cause I don'tmake as much as on unemoyment. Why would a employer do this. Just one day a week from five or six days I worked. As long as I didn't make a claim he didn't care if he worked me or not but soon as he got the papers he started this. And you never no which day it will be.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Sorry Lori, I have never been in a situation like you describe. If it were me, I would be calling them at least once a week about when my debit card would arrive and I would be asking on each occasion when I should expect it to arrive so that I know when I need to call them the next time.

      I hope you are dealing with someone above the bottom level at both your unemployment office and the comptroller's office. You'd be surprised how many people on the lower rungs of an agency or business do not know what they are talking about and rather than ask someone or admit they do not have the answers, they will tell you whatever it takes to make your and your call go away.

      If you haven't been dealing with supervisors or managers in this situation at both of these gov. agencies I suggest you do so and at least get a definitive answer as to whether your unemployment benefits are lost permanently.

      Never let much time pass before you check on something the government or any other entity has told you will happen and it hasn't happened within a reasonable time. That is why you should always keep a record of who you talked to, when you talked to them, what was discussed, and be sure to ask when you can expect whatever they are sending to arrive. If it hasn't arrived by the day after they said it would, call them again.

      I hope this issue will be resolved for you and that you will get your benefits even if considerably delayed. Good luck!

    • profile image

      lori 3 years ago

      I never received my debit bank card where my unemployment benefits were deposited. After calling several times, which they assured me they would be sending another debit card and that my funds were still there and would be there until I withdrew them. I did not press the issue and now after a year has passed the TX Unemployment Office has told me that after a year with no activity the funds go back to the state. They have not assured me that I have lost the funds. When checking with the State Controller the want a "due diligent" letter from the TX Unemployment Office in order to research any funds they currently don't see. Are you familiar with this?

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you for stopping by Shyron. Just send your friend the URL for this article and maybe it can help her understand the system better and the others that are linked to this one can help her find another job. I wish her luck.

      Thanks for the vote and share too!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Au fait, this is such an important article for anyone who has lost a job or expect to lose one.

      I had to come back and refresh this info for a friend who just lost her job.

      Voted up and shared

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you for your inquiry Ashlee.

      First of all I always recommend you check with your local state unemployment office regarding these issues because there is some variation in unemployment benefits laws from one state to another.

      Generally, your employer cannot expect you to take lower pay, a job that might interfere with your health, a job vastly different from the one you've been doing, nor can s/he expect you to travel extremely long distances to get to a job or move in order to accept a job. If a move would be required for you to accept your previous employer's job offer, you should not be expected to accept it or put your unemployment benefits at risk by turning it down.

      Again, check with your local unemployment office and make sure they understand that to accept your previous employer's offer you would have to relocate a considerable distance from where you are now. You should not be expected to do that as a condition of receiving benefits.

      Good luck to you!

    • profile image

      Ashlee 3 years ago

      I am have a question. My previous employer laid me off and closed down the office I worked in. They have a home office 5 hours away and they are now offering me my job but at that office. It has been 2 months of being on unemployment but I cannot make the move. If I turn the job offer down will I lose my unemployment benefits?

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Robin, thank you for your Inquiry. I honestly do not know the answer to that. I would expect that it would end your unemployment benefits if you refuse the job since you are not allowed to turn down any reasonable job offer. However, since you are now moved out of the state, that could make a difference.

      Did you expect to be called back to work when you were laid off? If you expected to be called back at some point, then not returning to go back to work would almost certainly end your benefits.

      My recommendation is that you call the unemployment office in the state you are receiving benefits from and explain your dilemma and get their advice. The sooner the better.

      Your previous employer will be reporting to the office in his/her state that a job has been offered to you and that you have not responded or you have turned it down. If you collected benefits between the time the job was offered and when the unemployment office discovered you had either rejected the the job offer or ignored it, you could be asked to repay the benefits you received during that time.

      Rather than complicating your situation, call your state unemployment office and get their advice about how to handle your situation. Wednesdays through Fridays are the best time to call during the week because Mondays are usually so busy it takes a miracle to get through.

      Good luck!

    • profile image

      Robin 3 years ago

      If I got laid off moved out of state and now there offering my job back will my unemployment stop if I don't go back to that state?

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Leah, thank you for updating your status on your situation. So glad things are going to work out for you!

    • profile image

      Leah 3 years ago

      Thank you for your quick response :)

      I should have clarified in my previous post, but the way my payment request dates fell and the time I accepted and was laid off from that full-time job, I was able to continue submitting payment requests as to not stop my benefits.

      I was able to call & get through to the unemployment office here rather easily yesterday (thank goodness!) because I was up and called right at 8am. After communicating with the woman at the office, she asked if I was still currently employed with the company, and then took a statement regarding the forced resign. She stepped away from her phone for a few minutes at one point, and came back and stated that her manager deemed this instance a fire due to pregnancy, and that it was not my fault as I was still in orientation at the time.

      She informed me that it could take up to six weeks after my statement was given because it then had to go into investigation. She said that I should continue to submit payment requests and what not. To my surprise; however, I logged onto my UI benefits account last night and it said the payment had been processed. I was amazed that it had all happened in one day, and super happy at that :)

      Thank you so much for your tips and help!

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Leah, for reading this article and posing a concern. I would recommend you try different phone numbers for TWC and later in the week is better -- Monday is all but impossible. Try Wed. thru Fri. Also, afternoons tend to be better because they are less busy then.

      Be aware that if you live in a right to work state, your employer can by law let you go at any time for any reason or no reason, and does not even have to tell you what that reason is. It looks like you are in Texas, which is a right to work state.

      To qualify for unemployment once you have stopped receiving benefits because of accepting new employment, you must work for your new employer for at least 8 weeks to qualify for benefits again, and you must not have quit, or been fired for cause.

      I recommend that if you are now laid off, file for unemployment benefits. Always do that when you lose a job for any reason because sometimes miracles happen. Sometimes in rare situations where the former employer doesn't respond to requests for information from the state unemployment agency, unemployment benefits are paid simply for that reason -- no response for a request for info.

      Try harder to get through to TWC and find out how your new status is going to affect unemployment benefits. If you officially accepted the job and stopped your unemployment benefits, likely you will not qualify for benefits again until you have worked at least 8 weeks full time for a new employer. Last I knew, that was the situation, but CHECK with TWC to be sure no matter how long you have to wait on the line or how many times you have to dial the number. There is more than one number so find them. They should be on the site where you filed for benefits.

      Time is important in regard to filing any claim, and if you are depending entirely on unemployment benefits, then dealing with this situation is urgent.

      You may want to check with a lawyer who specializes in employment law to make sure all of your rights are being protected. Because this is an employment issue in a right to work state you may have no cause of action, but again, it pays to make sure by overturning ever stone.

      My best wishes to you. I hope there will be a good ending to your situation.

    • profile image

      Leah 3 years ago

      Hello Au Fait,

      I read your article and found it very informative. To me, unemployment benefits and what not can be really confusing, and this article seemed to set things out in a very easy-to-read manner.

      My situation right now is that I had been employed with a hospital as a registered nurse for 9 months, became pregnant, contracted scabies from a patient, and was subsequently laid off for this due to absences that were accrued. I had a doctor's note and everything, but was taken off the schedule, and did not receive much feedback from both my manager and HR. With that being said, we went back and forth with appeals with TWC, but I ultimately won the case and started receiving unemployment benefits.

      I have been applying to jobs nonstop, anything at this point because I am desperate for some form of income in order to provide for both my baby and I. I was offered the opportunity to interview with another hospital, accepted it, and was ultimately offered a job. I was truly elated and decided to accept it. When I was offered the job, I disclosed with them that I was 13 weeks pregnant at the time, and the manager insisted that it was no problem. Once the opportunity for a weeklong orientation rolled around, I began work again. On the third day of orientation, I informed both the education leaders and my manager that I had an obygn appointment on the fifth day and they said it would be absolutely no problem that I missed. I had only worked 4 days before the manager decided to call me the day I had the appointment to tell me she wanted me to resign because she did not feel I was fully capable of working, and that they would not be able to get me in to make up the day of orientation I missed until some time next year. She was suggesting I quit and apply again next year. In my eyes, this appears to be a forced resignation because she was having second thoughts about hiring someone pregnant.

      In my current situation, I have no other options. I have applied for literally everything, and am in dire need of some form of income to pay for medical bills, food, rent, and what not.

      My question for you is, since I did not work for this second hospital for more than 4 days (I did not end up resigning in hopes of not harming the unemployment benefits I had been receiving - they laid me off), should I submit a new application or continue with the benefits in my account from my previous job in which I was employed for 9 months? I have tried several times to get into contact with the TWC customer service line with no avail. I plan on going at the start of this week to the actual office in order to talk with someone in person.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Val,

      If you filed for benefits right away after being laid off while your company was closed, you should have already received some benefits for the first week or two. I don't know what excuse your employer could have for not paying for those weeks. I would expect you to receive benefits for them and for you to continue to get benefits until you either go back to work or refuse the job offer your employer has made.

      I don't know of any form your employer needs to sign for you to get benefits. S/he only has to respond to a request for info from your unemployment office -- how many hours you worked each week, rate of pay, reason for layoff, etc. From what you have told me, you should qualify and if you haven't heard anything after 2 weeks of making application then you should contact the unemployment office to see what's going on.

      You should receive notice in the mail regarding their decision. If you didn't file for unemployment right away, within a couple of days of your layoff, that could slow things way down and possibly cause you not to qualify at all.

      If you find yourself in a situation where you no longer have a job in future, be sure to file ASAP. Since you can file online, you can do it at home the very day you are laid off. Never wait. File immediately.

      Hope things turn out well for you Val.

    • profile image

      Val 3 years ago

      Thank you for fast response! I phrased it wrong. My company was closed for 1,5 weeks. I did file for UI within this period. If the employeer will not sign the form i wont get paid at all for these 1,5 weeks at home?

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Val, thank you for your inquiry.

      One of the requirements for collecting unemployment benefits is that you cannot turn down any job offer. Also, you cannot turn down any job interview or lead. If you turn a job down you will need a really good reason, such as health issues or your employer will require you to drive a hundred miles to work and a hundred miles back home again, where you didn't have to do that previously, etc.

      You can continue to look for a better job, but that is not what unemployment benefits are designed to promote. Unemployment benefits are solely for the purpose of helping you get through a tough time when there is no paycheck as usual through no fault of your own.

      If you refuse to go back to work for your previous employer -- or refuse any reasonable job offer, you will very likely lose your unemployment benefits.

      You should always file for unemployment benefits the very next working day after you have been laid off. If you failed to do that at the beginning of the 1-5 week period you mention in your question, you may not get benefits for that time period.

      Never wait before filing for UI benefits. No matter what your employer or anyone else tells you, ALWAYS file the very next work day at the latest. Even if you go back to work a day or 2 after being laid off, at least you filed in case you weren't called back.

      Your employer will receive a request for information about your lay-off situation and when s/he tells your unemployment office that a job is available and waiting for you, you will not receive benefits.

      You cannot simply quit your job or refuse to work and expect to receive UI benefits. If that were possible we would all do it.

      Unless you can afford to be without any income for a while, I recommend you go back to work as soon as your previous employer will allow and begin a search for a job more to your liking on your own time. Go ahead and file for unemployment benefits, but don't expect too much.

      A person should always file for unemployment benefits when they have been laid off, fired, or quit a job. The unemployment office in your area will investigate your claim and decide if you qualify. If you fail to file for benefits you definitely will not get them. Always file just in case you might get them even when it seems like you will not. File right away, do not wait.

      Good luck!

    • profile image

      Val 3 years ago

      Hello, i have a question, i am in CA. Out company has been closed down , everybody was laid off. I filed for UI. A week and a half ago company went back in business. Am i required to come back? I dont want to, i want to look for another job.

      I was out of the job for 1,5 weeks, who will pay for that? I dont feel that the company is stable , i dont want to come back. My employer answered that there is no more lay off and i have to resign to leave and that i wont qualify for UI. Can he not sign the UI form? Can he force me to come back?

      Thank you

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Jen,

      Thank you for keeping us all up to date on what has been happening in regard to your issues with your previous employer.

      Yours is a good example of why a person should file for unemployment the same day or the very next day after they are separated from their employer by any means -- lay off, suspension, termination, or for any other reason. No matter what your employer may say, alway, ALWAYS file for unemployment. Your state unemployment office will investigate your claim and determine if you qualify for benefits.

      You may not qualify for some reason, but let the unemployment office in your state make that determination. You lose nothing by filing and letting the unemployment office investigate. No matter what an employer 'says,' file your claim.

      Best wishes for a good outcome for you. I hope everything gets ironed out in time. Take care . . .

    • profile image

      jmray69 3 years ago

      Hi Au Fait! I typed in a long explanation yesterday, then must have pressed delete, and Arrghhghghgh LOL. Guess I'll type a shorter story: The hospital threatened to fire me, and I asked them why I would be fired over when one of my co-workers had only been written up for the same thing? So long story short, they ended up giving me a "Final writeup" and telling me that I couldn't return to the respiratory depeartment. I told them that I'd already been told I couldn't return to the respiratory dept because of my medical limitations! So, my required "assisted 4 week job search" began on August 28th and ended on September 28th. "Assisted" meant that I looked online at the hospital's job site every day. If I found something that I wanted to apply for, then I would have to go through the application process the same as anyone else. There wasn't anything in my field or that I had the required licensure, credentials, etc for and so I was "terminated " on September 28th. I didn't know how to fill out the unemployment form=== was I fired, or quit or laid off? The hospital called it a "separation". I got my IDES letter in the mail, and it said that I needed to do an interview over the phone because I had been terminated for "misconduct" . So, I paid $38 to an online lawyer to find out how I should fight it, I was sooo confused. She said I'd been terminated, but not for misconduct. She also said that I could have gone to the unemployment office MONTHS ago, that I could not be forced to go through that 4 week job search. They told me that I had to do the 4 weeks before I could go down to unemployment! Anyhow, I prepared massively for the IDES phone call, which was so short... basically, she asked for all the dates, I gave them, I didn't even get to the whole "writeup" thing, (which is good, because it doesn't really have anything to do with anything). At the end, she asked me- "So, when do you think you were terminated?" And I said, "Well, technically, back in February when I was let go of the Respiratory Department, there was no longer a job for me in that hospital." and she said, "Right. So get that paperwork faxed to me, and that's that." (She wanted my medical release paperwork). I asked her if there was any way that my pay could go back before I applied, since they'd forced me to work that 4 weeks, and she asked if I had it IN WRITING that I couldn't go to unemployment? Of course I don't, I only have it in writing that the hospital was "giving me a 4 week job search". But they said over the phone, multiple times, that I had to go through the job search AND then I could go to unemployment. She said that was hearsay, and so, no...

      I'm so upset that I've continued to be on the brink of eviction, bankruptcy, and unable to pay my bills because of this EVIL game that my employer has forced on me. And apparently, they'll continue to get away with it... If I had been able to apply for unemployment back in August, there would not have been these financial problems!!! Now, I probably won't even get a check from IDES for another month, and by then, I'll surely be evicted. It was truly one month's difference. (Having a home vs. not having a home). I'll keep my fingers crossed in the meantime, maybe something will come through quicker.

      Au Fait, you've been amazing on here, and if this site doesn't appreciate you, I hope you find somewhere else immediately that values you for your talents. Im not really clear on what a Hubberscore is, but is there some way you can reach out to the people you've helped on here in the past, and get them to increase your score? The problem with this particular page is that often, we need your advice immediately (and you're amazing at answering so quickly), and then a month later, we've gotten benefits from unemployment, or have a new job or have moved on. And it's forgotten. But we wouldn't be where we were without that advice at that TIME.

      Anyhow, again, I thank you, I'll be on the lookout either way, Jen

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Hey Jen, what's happening with you? How are things working out so far? Hope they're better than you were expecting.

      Thank you for your loyalty. I'll probably be here until they throw me out, but it is discouraging the way they treat us here sometimes. Hope everything is working for you and your family's best interests . . .

    • profile image

      jmray69 3 years ago

      Well, I for one will be continuing to follow you where ever you are, you have been such a great help to me, Thank you so much! I know what it is like to work where you're not appreciated, and it really just hurts the soul... no human can continue to grow and be whole when you're being abused. Good luck to you, and thanks again, Jen

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you, Shyron, for coming back and sharing this article again. A lot of people are confused about exactly what unemployment benefits are for it would seem, and how they work. The tiers that were added shortly after the crash are now being removed again, so that long term unemployed people are about to have a very difficult time because we still do not have the jobs programs some politicians promised would be their #1 priority before the last election.

      As for how I am . . . I was looking forward to finally having some time to spend here on HP, and then for no apparent reason my hubber score was lowered into the basement again. That totally zapped my energy. I appreciate all the time and effort other hubbers like yourself have made to support and encourage my work on here, and if not for that I would simply never come back to this place where I am clearly not appreciated. Having a person's hubber score dropped in what appears to be a random manner from time to time is like coming into work all smiles and full of energy and getting an unexpected big hard fist in the face just for the heck of it. No explanation as to why, just that random fist to look forward to out of the blue every now and again, apparently for the entertainment of the HP crew. I've had about enough of that and I'm tired of being plummeted into depression for no apparent reason.

      Other sites may pay less, but not having to drown in despair and depression has a value too. When the pay is so low, an organization really needs to make up for it with other benefits, and a random fist in the face is only appreciated by sadists and masochists -- I am neither.

      I did a lot of research Thursday night planning to write a new hub, but now if I write it, I may just publish it on Wikinut. If not for all the good people here who have been loyal supporters, you could color me gone.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Selina, thank you for your inquiry.

      If your employer who laid you off asks you to come back to work, you don't have to go back to that job, but you will lose your unemployment benefits. While on unemployment, a person shall not turn down any job lead, job interview, or job offer unless they are physically unable to do it, or there is some other good reason for turning it down.

      Wanting to look for a better job is not considered a good reason for turning down any employer. Unemployment benefits are not for the purpose of assisting a person in finding a new job, but rather for helping a person who has lost their job through no fault of their own to manage financially while they seek another job.

      So in a word, no, if you refuse to return to work when your employer who laid you off asks you to do so, you will not be able to collect unemployment benefits.

    • profile image

      selina 4 years ago

      I didnt read all of the comments so i dont know if this was asked but what if i was laid off, my job asked me to come back but i prefer to continue looking for work elsewhere? Can i contine to collect unemployment?

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      rtburroughs2, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. I'm flattered that you are reading it in part to find ways to improve your own hubs. You may be interested in knowing that this hub is an Editor's Choice hub and that of all 116 of my hubs, this one is my second most often read article.

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Sunney--California, thank you for reading my article and making an inquiry. If you are receiving little or no income from your clothing store, it should have no affect on your unemployment benefits. You will be asked when you file for unemployment benefits if you have any other income besides the income you have lost when you lost your job and how much you are receiving.

      If you have a regular income from your business it may lower your weekly benefits somewhat depending on how much it is, but if it is very little, then you should still get some unemployment benefits.

      I always advise people to file for unemployment if they are laid off, fired, or quit their job. Always. The worst thing that can happen is that you will receive a letter in the mail saying you don't qualify for benefits. However, even people who have been fired have on occasion received benefits either because the unemployment office determined they were fired without cause, or what happens more often, the previous employer fails to respond to requests from the unemployment office. If they do not respond on time, an employee they fired may very well get benefits even if they were fired for cause.

      So always file for unemployment ASAP once you are no longer employed to make sure you receive all the benefits you are entitled to.

    • rtburroughs2 profile image

      Robert Burroughs 4 years ago

      Very informative article. I am working on making my hubs sparkle a bit more, by reading some of my followers hubs I have learned quite a bit about how to do this. I have had some personal experience with unemployment benefits. This article is very spot on.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      I came back to share this information again because so many people need to know the way that unemployment insurance works.

      You may not be aware of how many people you are helping with this info.

      Thanks for all the help you have given me.

      I hope all is well with you.

    • profile image

      sunny - california 4 years ago

      I just lost my full time job. I was about to file for unemployment but I don't know if being a business owner will affect me. I own a small clothing store and am a sole proprietor. The store keeps afloat on its own but I don't have excess money coming out where I can support myself from. Will I be able to receive unemployment benefits?

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Rainman_rich, thank you for your inquiry.

      Continue to file for unemployment benefits like you usually do, making sure to list all income as requested, and list all hours worked whenever those hours have been worked for pay, even if you have not yet received your pay.

      So long as there are funds in your unemployment account you should continue to receive benefits so long as you are not working full time (30 or more hours a week).

      Once you actually start working you will then report the number of hours worked each week as requested on the online filing form. If you work only 15 hours, for example, your unemployment benefits will be less, but you may still receive some benefits. Once you are working 30 or more hours your benefits will likely end, but not until you actually work those hours.

      Being offered a job and accepting that offer should have no affect on the benefits you are receiving. Only when you have actually worked for pay will your new job affect your benefits.

    • profile image

      rainman_rich 4 years ago

      I'm about to go to a job interview in a city three hours north of here. The prospect is high that I will get an offer to come work with the company. If offered the job I will need a couple of weeks for the company to set up the position and to get my things in order here to move up there. My question is: Will my benefits stop the day/week of the job offer or will they continue until I am able to start work?

    • profile image

      jmray69 4 years ago

      Hi Au Fait- just wanted to give you an update on my situation: They did just what I thought they would during my meeting: Accuse me of having the medicine packets in my locker, plus having an arterial line setup (was used to give me a tutorial/in-service by another respiratory therapist, who told me to keep it in my locker to practice on. Again, not something that is usable in the real world, has no street value or anything) and also that I had a blanket in my locker. (Because it's freezing when you work the night shift in hospitals, they turn off the heat from about 2 am to 4am in the winter). They were trying to insinuate that I was sleeping on my shift, which is a big laugh, because I'm one of those people that drinks WAY too much coffee and can't shut up, and other therapists get annoyed with me because they can't sleep because of ME. I told them during the meeting that I was willing to own up to my part of having the med packets in my locker, but that I knew other people had just been written up for it, and so they must do the same to me. They said they would investigate and make a decision based on the information I'd given them. On the way out, I asked the HR guy WHEN he was going to call me back, and he said he'd give me a heads up on Friday. (Last Friday). I also asked him why they would consider firing me for something when other people had only been written up for the same thing, He said, "Well, they are employees when they did it, and you're not." I said, "I thought I WAS an employee of the hospital" and he said, "No, I mean that they are RESPIRATORY employees when it happened, and you were let go of the Respiratory Department back in February." I said, "Well, I was a Respiratory Employee back when the infraction occurred, so that doesn't make any sense." and he just replied, "No." Anyhow, he called on Friday and said they were still investigating and hadn't made a decision yet, that he would call on Monday. On Monday, no one had called by 5pm, and so I called his VM and inquired why. He called at 730 pm and left a VM on my phone that said he hadn't been able to re-meet with my ex-manager, but that they were meeting on Tuesday and he would call me Tuesday afternoon. I received no calls at all on Tuesday. I called his VM this morning (Wednesday) and it said that he was out of office until Thursday. I left a message again inquiring why he hadn't got back to me. Then later this afternoon I received a call from a lady that said she was returning my call FOR him, and that he wanted to make an appointment with me to meet with me next friday. I said, "In two days Friday?" and she said, "No, a week from Friday." And I asked "WHY so long?" and she said she didn't know, she was just told to call me and make the appointment. I asked if he would be in office tomorrow (Thursday) and she said yes. I asked for him to call me tomorrow and I would discuss it with him.

      I'm out of my mind, Au Fait, this is just purgatory wrapped inside of limbo...and I just can't believe that they can continue to do this to me. I've emailed employment lawyers, but the fact of the matter is that I haven't quit and I haven't been fired, I'm not sure they can do anything until someone makes a move? In the meantime, I'm going down to unemployment tomorrow to file a claim...

      Just wanted to give you an update to my bizarro situation, I feel sure that they're meeting with many lawyers trying to figure out just how to get rid of me...

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      HM, thank you for checking this article out.

      Your part-time employer should not have to pay anymore into his/her unemployment fund on your account than s/he was paying before. Your full time employer will not have the amount s/he must pay increased immediately either. How long you collect and how many other employees who are laid off and collecting unemployment benefits (and of course how much y'all are collecting) will determine how quickly the account your full-time employer pays into gets depleted.

      Your benefits will reflect that you are still working part-time and so you will receive a partial unemployment benefit, not the full amount you might be entitled to if you were totally unemployed.

      For example, my job is part-time and as a result I was able to collect unemployment for a short time. The amount I received in benefits was usually the difference between what I would have earned in I had worked 40 hours and how much I actually did earn during the hours I did work.

      My hours vary, so some weeks I received no benefit because I worked very nearly 40 hours, some weeks I received as little as $3 or $7, and other weeks the equivalent of a full day or a full week. There is a maximum amount of money you can collect over a specific period of time and those limits will be stated on your unemployment account which you can access online.

      Once you clean your account out of any available funds, or once the date when you can collect unemployment passes, you're done collecting unemployment unless an extension is available in your state. Your unemployment office will inform you of these things through your online account and they will be easily located on the first page of that account. They will most probably inform you through snail mail also.

      Filing for unemployment benefits is easiest done online.

      Thank you for your inquiry. Hope I was able to make a clear explanation. Good luck!

    • profile image

      HM 4 years ago

      I had a question: Let's say I have a full time job AND a part time job, and I get laid off from the full time job and decide to collect. I know the full time employer has to pay a greater % into the fund, but because I filed for unemployment, does the % that my part time employer have to pay go up as well? Even though they didn't lay me off? Thank you!

    • profile image

      jmray69 4 years ago

      Thank you again, you've been so kind. Interesting the viewpoint of fighting for unemployment benefits. Of course, they're a multi-million dollar company, so they don't have much to lose either way. I, on the other hand, have much to lose, like my way of life. My ex-boyfriend is from Ireland and lives in England, and he just doesn't get the way we do things here. It would be unheard of to give less than 4 weeks notice to an employer, or vice versa. No one gets walked out of buildings by security. And there's no such thing as unemployment. I wish there wasn't here either. It's not right that that money gets taken out of our paychecks our whole working life, only to never be used, or if needed, to have to go through a nasty fight to get it.

      Anyhow, thank you for the advice and good tidings...I rescheduled the meeting for Thursday morning because I needed more time to think and plan and to stop having a constant panic attack! LOL

      I'll come back briefly just to tell you what happened...

      thanks, jen

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Jen, I think it would have been better to file sexual harassment complaints closer to when they actually happened. Filing them now will make people suspicious that you are doing it out of retaliation or 'sour grapes.' Unless you can find other people who would freely verify what you say.

      I still recommend a good employment attorney to address all of these different issues by the chance that a case might be made that you were forced to suffer a hostile work environment and that the company has not dealt with the work environment very responsibly.

      They will fight your benefits simply because most of the time they win. Their fighting your benefits is like you filing for unemployment. If they don't fight it they lose for sure. If you don't file for unemployment benefits you definitely won't get them. So it's a matter of giving it a try. Neither of you has anything to lose by trying and something to gain if you succeed.

      Good luck . . .

    • profile image

      jmray69 4 years ago

      Dear Au Fait- Thank you again for your advice... the meeting is in less than 12 hours, and of course I can't sleep. My stomach is turning knots, and I just wish this particular day was over, LOL. (Not really funny).

      I definitely won't be attending that meeting, and am going to be emailing my resignation in this morning to the powers that be. Before I went out on medical leave, I was being harassed by a few of my co-workers (One guy was threatening, sabotaging, my job, and then screamed at my manager for a half hour when she confronted him about it. 2 of my co-workers were constantly sexually overt (is that the word?), reading aloud lurid scenes from "50 Shades of Grey" to a group of women, asking if I'd brought any "lube" to work, talking about female patients to "check out" that had big breasts, etc) These things were brought to my managers attention, and she asked that we "not go to HR yet, that we should report any more harrassment directly to her." At the time, I didn't file a complaint with HR, because I was afraid of making waves and losing my job in an environment where everyone was losing their jobs.

      Should I file these complaints before I resign? I still intend on resigning, I cannot work for this company. But perhaps it will make them less likely to fight my UI benefits?

      I know I've already taken up so much of your time... Thank you....

    • Au fait profile image
      Author

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      I was actually suggesting an employment attorney, not to keep your present job, but to sue for forcing you out for unfair and questionable reasons. It seems to me from what you have said that your current situation is pretty well settled and your job over.

      Why would you want to work for someone who treats you the way you say your current employer is treating you, and that you can't trust anyway? I know you are in dyer circumstances, and that would be a reason, but it doesn't look feasible in any case.

      It is the current economic situation that is causing a lot of employers to behave the way they are. They know that no matter how horrible they treat their employees, there are dozens of people who would still take a job with them because unemployment is considerably higher than government wants you to realize.

      If you are going to quit your current job you should do it before the meeting so that they do not have an opportunity to bring formal charges (accusations if you prefer) against you for the reasons you stated.

      24 states in the U.S. are right to work states because some people hate the unions. Some people believe they get a better shake dealing directly with their employers themselves.

      In a right to work state such as I live in, an employer can fire you for any reason or no reason, and the law does not require them to tell you why. As a result, a person could be fired for being the wrong race or religion even though that would be against federal law. If they don't have to tell you why they're letting you go, how can you be sure it wasn't because you refused sexual overtures or because you attend the wrong church?

      Most wise companies still do not share your official employment records with a perspective employer even if they request them, because there's always a chance a good employment lawyer will find a reason to sue them for so doing.

      Keep in mind that even when a company wins a lawsuit or succeeds in having the suit thrown out of court for any reason, they still had to hire and pay for legal representation to defend themselves and it isn't cheap. There is also the stigma of being sued.

      It's the "would you hire this employee again," that sinks you no matter what other information is gleaned. If the answer is no, your chances of getting another job are going to be that much tougher. Previous employers can legally answer that question so long as they stick to yes or no.

      I always recommend that a person file for unemployment regardless of the circumstances. Whether you were fired, laid off for no fault, or quit, be sure to file. While it is sometimes possible, as stated in this article, to qualify for unemployment benefits even though you quit, if you quit for health reasons, your current employer can say that they were searching for a job that would accommodate your health issues and you didn't give them a chance to complete their search.

      It seems to me you're between a rock and a hard place. If you don't quit, accusations about questionable drug handling will be brought. If you do quit, your employer will say you didn't give them a chance to find you another position within the company. Either way you get no unemployment benefits. Even so, be sure to file for benefits. The worst thing that will happen is that they will say no, but it's always worth a try.

      Good luck to you whatever you decide to do.

    • profile image

      jmray69 4 years ago

      And PS- I'm just speechless that it's legal for a company to gain more information about you than the usual- Work dates, would you hire this employee again, etc....especially since most states are "At will" states and you can already be fired for any little thing. Just disgusting, the ethics involved here in America.

    • profile image

      jmray69 4 years ago

      You are so wonderful to give good advice, I appreciate it so much. I think I little or no legal standing, I could attempt to go into this meeting and defend my position, but the bottom line is that they want to get rid of me desperately and I don't want to work for a company that would sabotage a person's whole career to save a few bucks. It says a lot about corporate America, doesn't it? It is sad, because years ago, this hospital was one of the top employers in the country for Employee Satisfaction, and in the last year, they've laid off/fired over 400 employees, starting with the ones closest to retirement. The employee of the year was fired, too! I've seen a lot of really good nurses get fired for stupid stupid things, no one is safe. I knew all this time when I was out on medical leave that it was over, no matter that they kept saying, "Just get better and come back as soon as you can!" throughout my illness.

      I will contact a lawyer, but I think resigning is my best option- no one will sign an affidavit of anything, the environment at work is already "Watch your own butt and be glad you have a job". Everyone is terrified to lose their jobs these days, especially at this hospital.

      On many web sites, they list declining health as a legitimate reason to quit AND still get unemployment (upon your return to health, able bodied and ready to work). I wonder if I'd have a shot at that?

      Thank you thank you again for your help... you're compassion is a strength to all of us going through this!

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Jen (jmray69), more and more it sounds like you need to consult with an employment attorney.

      What you need to weigh is how likely it is that you will be fired for something you didn't do and what the repercussions will be as a result. Not only making it harder to get another job, but how will it affect your chances to get benefits, etc. If the outcome of quitting will be no worse and may be better, then I would recommend you quit.

      Keep in mind that future prospective employers can still learn all they want to know and more about your time with your current employer no matter how you separate from your current employer. Nowadays everyone is required to sign a permission waiver that allows prospective (and current) employers to investigate your background. They can ask for information from anyone at all including former and current coworkers, supervisors, human resources managers, neighbors, friends, relatives, acquaintances, etc., in the course of their investigation. There are no secrets in the age of technology. Once this information has been gathered it will be available from companies who do nothing but these sort of investigations for the rest of your life.

      Not only must you sign giving permission for this investigation, but at the same time you are agreeing not to hold the investigator or anyone else responsible for what anyone says about you. I disagree with this tactic and I believe it should not be legal, but the powers that be do not care what I think.

      So weigh all the disadvantages and benefits before making your decision. If you are fired or if you quit, you will receive no unemployment benefits either way. If you are fired without cause you would have to prove that in order to get unemployment benefits and that would be very costly.

      Again, I would suggest you try to find a good employment attorney to advise you. It's possible that some coworkers would be willing to sign an affidavit stating what you have put in your comments regarding left over meds. If several people testify to this behavior and your employer has given no directions as to what should be done with left over meds, then you might still get unemployment benefits and it's possible you could sue besides for having your reputation smeared.

      Please at least try to find an employment attorney in your area who can advise you. If your attorney could make a case here and win it would make a world of difference to so many people. You are not the first person this has happened to, and you won't be the last. There won't be a last until employers are forced to be honest.

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      jmray69 4 years ago

      Dear Au Fait, thank you so much for your reply! I have contacted my local township for assistance, had my doctor write a medical letter to the electric company, and have reached out to many friends and relatives for help. I'm a very lucky girl to have been sick so long and still have an apartment (for this month anyway) and lights on. I will continue working at it, even though every day is a struggle of being sick and having to do all these things.

      I sent in my medical release to the hospital, and HR said the first thing I needed to do was to pass an employee physical, and then they would "assist me" in looking on the hospital's job boards. When I contacted Employee Health, they told me they didn't need to do a physical because I didn't have a particular job/department yet. They said the first step was for me to find a job, apply for it, and then they would do a employee physical based on my new job. They also said they knew with my medical limitations, I could not work in the Respiratory Department at this time. They put me on the line with the "hiring manager" in HR, who gave me the run around and sent me to my initial HR contacts voicemail. Then a few days passed where NO ONE was calling me, even though, in the past, my HR contact always got back to me within a few hours at most. (It even says on her voicemail, "I'll get back to you in 24 hours"). Finally, on the fourth day, an unknown HR guy called me and said he needed to meet with me and my former respiratory manager "within the next day or two" to discuss some things. I asked him why my former respiratory manager would be there, because my medical limitations had precluded me from working in that department at this time. He said that was what we were going to talk about, and also "what they had found in my locker when they cleaned it out". (4 months ago).

      To make a long story short, we use medication for breathing treatments on our patients, we'll have 30 or 40 of these packets in a shift. Sometimes there are left overs because we pulled too many accidentally out of the machine, or patients refuse treatments, or another respiratory therapist going off shift gives us some of theirs because we'll be seeing that same patient on our shift, or there's an emergency that we have to run to...blah blah- there's a million reasons why we have extras. I had a few of them in my locker in my lab coat. Everyone does. This is the only thing in my locker, aside from my lab coat and stethescope, and some pens. It's not for my own personal use, I wasn't stealing them, they're just in everyone's lockers (or we put them in the garbage, but we get in trouble for that too). Anyhow, right before I went on medical leave, one of my co-workers and a friend was written up for this.

      But I know, because they cannot accommodate my "disibility" and the medical limitations my doctor has set out, that they are going to fire me for this, just because they don't want to pay my UI.

      Now my question is: Should I quit first? I'm terrified this could go on my "permanent record", and when my new/potential employers find out I was fired for "contraband", I won't get hired. I'm assuming that if I quit first, I can just say to a potential employer that I had been sick, and tried to return to a respiratory job, and found myself unable to do that.... I cannot risk that they would besmirch my very good reputation and jeopardize my WHOLE CAREER just because they're greedy and don't want to pay unemployment!! It's soooo unbelievable, I'm so good to my patients, and respected by my co-workers, and follow rules and regulations to the "T".

      I also know that I won't get unemployment- probably either way, but definitely not if I'm fired for cause. There's a tiny possibility that I might if I say I quit for health reasons...although I'm sure my hospital will fight it by saying I was about to be fired anyhow.

      I'm so depressed, my health insurance is through the hospital still, and I have specialists appointments lined up throughout August and September, some that I've waited months to get into, and will most likely help me get a diagnosis, and thus, Short term disability. I feel like everything is at an end... Lost my health, my teenager has (with my approval) moved in with my ex husband because she shouldn't be put through all this sick stuff, lost my job, about to lose my house, my kitty, lost my insurance, and everything I own will be put in storage or thrown out. Soon, because my daughter has moved in with her father, I'll also lose the measly amount of child support he gives, Actually OWE him child support, and will lose some foodstamps and possible the medicaid I'll apply for. Everyone has been so helpful financially and emotionally amongst my family and friends, but they too, have given all they can... thank for listening. I know there probably aren't a lot of solutions out there, but it helps just to write this, and hope that if only one HR person stops acting like a soul-less vampire trying to save a few dollars, one corporate lawyer sticks up for the little guy, one unemployment agent sees how we're taken advantage of, then this whole stupid saga will have been worth it...

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Jen, thank you for stopping by. I'm so sorry to hear about your predicament. Different states have different laws, and I wouldn't begin to know what Illinois law might be regarding your situation. I honestly don't know what I would advise you regarding the law in your situation even if you were living here in Texas.

      Since you are on food stamps and I would imagine you are on Medicaid also? Have you checked to see what other benefits may be available in the way of rent subsidies or help with your house payment? Low income housing here in Texas can sometimes mean the rent is as low as 10% of your income. If your income is $100, then your rent would be $10. Find out how low income housing works in Illinois. There may be a waiting list so this isn't a quick and easy solution to housing, but if you don't find out if you can get help this way, then you definitely won't get help this way.

      I would expect that calling 211 is the same all over the U.S. Call that number to find out what assistance you may qualify for from your state, county, and city. Also check with any charitable organizations in your city and county to see what is available that may be helpful to your situation.

      Is there a food pantry in your area? Some churches and other organizations help with electric bills, house payments, and all kinds of different things short term and may even be able to help you find a long term solution. These organizations are usually in a network with other charitable organizations and may even know of a job you can do to help get you through for a while, or something else that will help.

      Very few of us are getting a 'decent wage' nowadays. Despite the rosy outlook the media wants to put on this Depression (not a typo) we've been in since 2008, for many many people it is anything but rosy. It's a mere downturn for the wealthy, for working and poor folks it's a disaster.

      Mr. Perry, our wonderful Texas governor has created many jobs as you may have heard, and Texas is popping at the seams with jobs everywhere. What they don't tell you is that you will need 3-4 of those great minimum pay part-time less than 30 hours a week no benefits jobs just to scrape by. Lots of people don't know that until they get here with their rental truck full of everything they have in the world only to see a sign when they arrive that says "Lots of great jobs just another 7,000 miles (give or take a few) west of here -- meaning India, China, and Indonesia.

      Lots of people with education and certifications up the wazoo are lucky to find jobs washing dishes or some other minimum pay job. As you may know, Wal-Mart requires their employees to work off the clock periodically and if they don't want to do it, there are plenty of jobless people standing in line waiting for them to get out of the way so they can do it. Off the clock means clocking out and continuing to work for zero pay.

      20-30 hours a week at minimum pay is better than nothing at all. Wal-Mart encourages their employees to file for food stamps since they know their wages won't be enough. Wal-Mart and the Walton family, like many of us, have fallen on hard times and require tax payers to bail them out, so they expect their employees to collect food stamps and Medicaid.

      With the work situation as it is, you will be lucky to get a job of any kind. It helps to know somebody to help get you in since so many people are desperate for work and most job postings get 200 or more applications.

      Have you tried contacting your U.S. House Representative? Also your state assemblyman and/or state senator? Lots of people overlook that option and assume that these elected officials do nothing, but in fact most of them are helping their constituents in a number of different ways and maintain staff whose entire job is to help constituents with problems that are government related. In your case that would be getting public assistance and determining the law as it relates to your employment.

      Please don't get the idea that contacting your government officials will solve your problem, but allow that there is a chance they can help. They help a lot of people with a variety of problems that involve government red tape, and they MAY be able to help you, but of course there are no guarantees. Still, if you don't at least contact them and ask for help, I guarantee you will get no help from them.

      Something else to consider is consulting with an employment attorney. Some attorneys will give an initial consultation at no charge. If they believe you have a good case they may even be willing to work on contingency. Do not consult with a transactions attorney or a criminal attorney, etc., unless a good portion of their practice is also employment law.

      Something a lot of people don't understand is that no one can know and understand everything about every law in the land. No one. So be sure if you contact an attorney it is one that does a lot of work in the area of employment law (at least 30% of their practice), or one who is Board Certified in employment law. S/he should know if what your employer is putting you through is in fact legal and necessary.

      Lawyers who are not long out of law school are more likely to offer a free first consultation since they are just building their practice and also need someone to practice on. Generally they have someone with experience with whom they can consult and get advice. Even so, make sure employment law is a main interest for them -- otherwise I could probably advise you as well as they can. My former husband did employment law and I worked with him in his office for 10 years. In short, you want to make sure you're talking to a lawyer who understands employment law.

      Start with 211, then contact your state and federal representatives, then find out about local charities, and finally try to find an employment attorney who will at least give you a first consultation at no charge.

      Wishing you the best of luck in finding some solutions. Let me know how it goes . . .

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      jmray69 4 years ago

      Hi! I have been working for a hospital since April 30th of last year as a respiratory therapist, and starting getting sick on January 5th of 2013. I've been out on approved medical leave since then. I was only approved for short term disability of one week's pay, because I did not have a diagnosis yet (still only have the diagnosis of having an auto-immune disease, after 13 specialists, they aren't sure which one, but have started me on medication for it), and the STD is currently still in appeals. So, in the meantime, I have had no income for more than 7 months, have been getting food stamps, and some donations from family to pay the rent for my daughter and I, am about to be evicted next month.

      In any case- the hospital I work for has "let me go" from the respiratory department (back in April, I think) and now holds my job at "the cost center" in HR. Meaning, when I am released to go back to work, they have 4 weeks to "assist me in finding a job within the hospital" before they would let me go. They insist they cannot lay me off or fire me right now because it would be illegal. But I will never be able to work as a respiratory therapist ever again, we run from one side of the hospital to the other all night from emergency to codes to ICU to ER. I have no other qualifications, it's not like a nurse that I could work in teaching or management or in a clinic within the same hospital system. The people that do sit down jobs in the hospital all either make 1/3 of the pay I do, or they have degrees in Health information Tech, etc. There is no job I can work within that hospital.

      My doctor has (on my request) just "released" me to go back to work, he has written down that I can only work 4 hours at a time, that I cannot lift more than 10 lbs, cannot climb stairs or bend down, and that I will be on medicines that may cause drowsiness. I feel/felt that I needed to have him fill this out so that I could get through this 4 week bogus job search on their part (when we all know they just don't want to pay unemployment, they know there isn't a job within the hospital that I could work at this time. )

      My questions are: Can they really do this legally? (Im in Illinois). Do I really have to go through this 4 week assistance period? Especially when they know and I know that there is no job at the same pay rate or that isn't as physically demanding as my respiratory job within the hospital. I just want to be able to collect unemployment and start searching for a job that will allow me to work within my current "disabilities". And not lose my daughter's and my house in the meantime.

      PS- I'm still making my case with the STD, I probably won't win because I don't have a clear diagnosis yet, and it may take years for the labs and symptoms to provide a clear answer. This is all quite common with AI diseases. (The average diagnosis comes in 7 years). For the same reasons, I will have a fight on my hands with SSI and SSDI, especially as even I am saying that I can work in a very limited capacity.

      So currently, I don't qualify for STD, SSI or SSDI. I can't work within the hospital- they don't have a job for me that I can do and collect a decent wage. I can't get unemployment because they won't lay me off or fire me. What a mess, right? LOL

      Thanks in advance...Jen

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      brmb, if the person you spoke to at the Social Security Office says you can get both then s/he should know what they're talking about. I wouldn't waste any time taking care of it. The sooner your quality of life improves and the sooner you don't have to worry about living expenses, the better. Thank you again for stopping by. Best wishes!

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      brmb 4 years ago

      Thank you very much. Yes my son and I went to SSI already and the worker said I can get both unemployment and SSI and I can start the application online, thanks for the advice. :-)

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you for stopping by brmb. This is not a situation that I have any expertise in whatever. I would only say, that if you are unable to work and you qualify, then you should apply for the SSI.

      Whether you can collect both SSI and unemployment is something I do not know. I have never faced a situation like yours. All my employees were able bodied as was I when I collected unemployment.

      Generally unemployment requires that you have the physical and mental ability to work. You will be expected to seek a new full-time job if you receive unemployment benefits.

      It sounds like you do not meet that qualification -- the ability to work. If you are unable to work due to physical limitations I think you will find that you do not qualify for unemployment and your employer will be off the hook for your benefits as well, since he wants you to work, but you are refusing to do so, and the reasons you are refusing to do so are not your employer's fault.

      I'm sorry to learn about your misfortune and I hope for the very best outcome for you in finding solutions. If it were me and I qualified to do so, I would file for SSI, food stamps, and anything else I qualified for. The sooner you get your applications in, the sooner they can be considered. In the meantime you might check to see if there are any charities in your area that are able to help.

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      brmb 4 years ago

      He just emailed me saying we will need to work something out if your misssing more work.I don't know what he means. I've gone to disability SSI and I qualify for disability already but still am intittled to my unemployment. But would he have to lay me off first? Because social security office says I can apply for disability now. I'm worried cause I'm a single parent. Please give me some advise please.