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I worked for a Temp Agency and they are fighting my unemployment benefits.

by Heidi
(Chicago, IL USA)

Hi, I was working through a temp agency for 2 months and on a Thursday they called me 10 minutes after I got off work and told the "assignment was ended". The next day they called and left me a message and I called them back within 15 minutes and they said they had a position for me, but had already called someone else and filled it. I filed for umemployment and the temp agency is fighting it stating that I did not "check in properly". I called the temp agency and they said that I was to call within 48 hours of stopping my job and I was to check in every Monday and said that now it is every Monday from 9 to 12. They did not tell me this when I hired with them that if I was laid off I had to call within 48 hours and that I had to call every Monday and check in. They told me when they called to tell me the assignment was over that they would keep me in mind for any other positions that opened up and they would call if something came open. Will I be denied unemployment because of this? I think this is kind of a sneaky thing for them to do. I am suppose to have an interview with a representative from the unemployment office. Please help.

Hi Heidi,

I changed the title to more accurately reflect what you are asking.

Temp agencies rarely "tell" you that you have to call them within 48 hours .. but I'll bet you that when you signed on .. one of those forms you put your signature on tells you that.

But, I am not aware nor could I find an Illinois "temporary worker provision" other than an act which protect day laborers.

So, what are your options?

Tell it just like you told me. Unlike a state that does have a temporary worker provision .. which finds that if you don't call within 48 hours for another assignment you will be considered to have "voluntarily quit .. Illinois doesn't seem to control this issue by statute.

And in fact, you did call them back for an assignment and they did tell you that they would keep you in mind for further assignments.

Sneaky? Temp agencies are very sneaky and notorious for fighting UI claims .. it's the nature of their biz that causes them to have an abundance of "lack of work" claims and therefore, a high unemployment tax rate .. so they fight everything with all kinds of "issues".

But you'll have to let us all know what Illinois decides, because they only have a couple precedents in their digest of decisions which can be found in the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Law Handbook and none seemed relevant to your situation.

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Apr 18, 2017
Clearstaff will stop you from recieving unemployment benefits
by: Anonymous

I'm currently collecting unemployment and clearstaff in chicago keeps trying to fight it every way they can they don't have a job for me but at the same time they keep trying to stop me from collecting unemployment I urge anyone looking for work to not go thru a temp agency they will fight you all the way

Feb 23, 2017
Re: temp service saying I must accept a lower paying temp assignment, or they would fight benefits
by: Chris -

My thought is that a temp staffing agency would likely fight anyone's unemployment benefits .. since it is in fact the employer that pays an unemployment tax on the wages paid .. no matter what company they might lease you out to work for.

However, the logical argument and issue you raised, would likely read something like this.

Claimant voluntarily quit without good cause. They refused an offer of continuing, suitable employment.

My problem with such blanket employer responses, is I don't have any specific information to assess whether the new temp assignment, or a lesser wage, would be arguable, should you refuse any assignment, or because the offer amounted to unsuitable work .. specifically to and for you.

You mentioned the next temp assignment would pay less than the 14 dollars per hour you'd received for seven months.

Reduction in pay can be good cause to refuse permanent employment when one position is eliminated .. therefore it can also be good cause to refuse when a temp assignment is also not suitable work .. (depending on what you answered when you signed on with a temp agency.

So, before one refuses any job, only considering the amount of pay, they should know if they could potential argue and prove, their refusal was due to a substantial change made by an employer to the terms and conditions of employment, which is connected to one area of concern in the criteria for suitable work .. I linked to above.

What is deemed as a substantial reduction in pay, however, is something that can vary by state.

So, once you know what suitable work covers, you may want to go here to the resource page and see if I have a link, or if the link to your state's precedent manual .. might still work.

Some states are notorious for moving this sort of information. Whether they do it on purpose .. or just think no one who should be interested .. will be the wiser, I don't know.

Feb 22, 2017
temp service saying I must accept a lower paying temp assignment, or they would fight benefits
by: Anonymous

I worked for a temp service at $14 dollars an hour for over 7 months I was just laid off and now the temp service told me I need to except any lower paid job they give me and I would not be able to draw unemployment because they would fight it is that true?

Aug 06, 2015
temp agencies and Unemployment
by: Anonymous

Since you did actually call within 48 hours, and they ended the assignment - you did not quit, you would be eligible to receive unemployment. The strategy to use here, is, to document, that you called the temp agency for a new assignment, within 48 hours. Make sure to save your phone records as proof. And, tell the unemployment review person, exactly what happened. Temp agencies are sneaky and they do lie. It is best not to deal with temp agencies, but, instead to pursue a permanent position. However, sometimes people have to deal with temp agencies, and so, just stay with the truth, file a claim for Unemployment, and keep good records as proof. good luck

Oct 23, 2014
by: Anonymous

I'd have to agree that the staffs at temp agency do lie to push you to sign all the paperwork in a rush.

I'm glad I didn't and took the time to read and review them all. And I did ask about the checking in per week on the form if your current assignment ends. I asked if I do that by email or not, and they say they're not so strict on that. LOL. Sounds like they're trying to convince me not to so that they can avoid paying UI.

Thanks for all the comments on this webpage. I'm going to keep extra documentations to protect myself now. :)

Sep 18, 2014
Temporary Agencies and Unemployment
by: Anonymous

Sorry you had this experience. I had a similar thing happen to me; I was told by my temp agency that the assignment ended. I contacted the agency, they offered me another job, but when I called them back, they said it had been filled. I am experiencing major obstacles with my UC benefits. With your situation, keep good written records, as you may need this when talking to Unemployment board. Just keep looking for a better job that is permanent. Don't give up. You will find something better soon. Best of luck to you.

Jun 19, 2014
SureStaff in Arlington Heights, Il.
by: Anonymous

WOW!! What great website! I was feeling all alone until I read these! Thank you for making me feel NOT CRAZY!!! The Unemployment judges MUST know the scam these agencies are doing, since they are the ones handling the calls. I just got done with a call from an appeal with SureStaff in Arlington Heights, Il. I swear ALL of these sound like them. EXACTLY the same lying and imbellishing and withholding information!! Also the mention of the "Rules" in fine print on the application. I restarted with them again 2 weeks after the layoff. I even gave them a weeks notice. You would THINK that they would hook up a loyal and dependable employee (more $$$-flow for them!) with another gig to avoid all this drama. So I have learned my lesson and am pursuing a perm job where I can enjoy some vacation time and paid days off. I've never had such a bad experience temping until this experience with SureStaff in Arlington Heights, Il. Also I did keep some records but will be even more vigilent like the last person did. Thanks! :)

Jun 03, 2013
Read the small print
by: Anonymous

I am currently trying to get away from a temp agency. On my first job assisgment I was approached by a manager asking if I'd be interested in a lab position. Since I am experienced in this area I asked questions, such as how many hours I would work before getting hired and the pay. After getting answers I weighed my options and the next day told them yes. After working the amounted hours to get hired I let them know I now had the expected hours in. For 2 months they kept putting me off for the drug test to be hired and started training another person for the job I was doing. I worked for 6 months straight, not calling off and working overtime when asked. I was sick 1 day and called off and the following day had a call from the temp agency said my services were no longer needed. And they (temp agency) would call me. When I filed unemployment I was denied because I ddidnt call in every day!! What the heck!! Im still fighting it. So now I call morning s and afternoons, write down who I speak with and dont refuse a job because they then say you refused a ob and then they refuse you unemployment....again!!! My advice....DO NOT go through a temp agency.

Yup, you need to read the small print when you sign on with a temp agency ..

It sounds like you work in a state that has one of those special "temporary worker provisions" Special in that the industry of temporary staffing gets s special law written just for them that can be abused to stop payment of benefits on even a technicality .. that they called you and said they'd be in touch when they had a job .. instead of you calling everyday to hear they had nothing.

Yes, read the small print and CYA!!

Feb 22, 2013
Temp agency lied
by: Anonymous

Temp agency employees lie, I know from experience last year. I am much smarter than the people who work at these offices and I did ask questions after having been let go of the job they had for me.
I was told I didn't have to call weekly, come in or follow up, which I felt was very odd. I was told not to worry that she would send out my resume that day and get some interviews lined up for me. I did file for unemployment, as I knew this temp agency rarely got office jobs, they told me this when I applied for the job they posted but claimed did not exist. Yes, I had to put up a fight until I won and I argued with the lady at the unemployment office on how unprofessional the temp agency was and how I asked questions and felt there answers did not add up. Yes, I am fully aware you are supposed to report weekly to the temp agency, so they know you are still actively looking for work, but they won't tell you this. The employees, including the office manager were so upset that I was able to get unemployment and they tried everything to prevent me from getting it by making false statements to the unemployment office. I had proof of contact, its called an iphone and I did a screen shot of all the calls I made to them so that I could show the unemployment office. When they answer, always be sure to write down the name of the person you spoke with along with the date and time, once they figure out who you are and if you need to ask there name again, they are more likely to make up a fake name.
Don't let them win, the more documentation you have showing you have made contact with them, the better.

Oct 11, 2010
Unemployment and Temp Agencies
by: Anonymous

If you get laid off a temp agency or are just applying for unemployment, keep a document of date, time that you contact the temp agency within 48hrs you assignment ended.

Also, I would e-mail you temp agency so there is documentation of you attempting to contact them. Don't forget to save their e-mailed response.

I worked at a call center for a temp agency and the department is being cancelled so all of our assignments are ending this Friday.

They gave us some options of new assignments but they never metioned the possibility of unemployment at our meeting today when they said the department was closing.

You have to accept an assignment of similar hours and pay otherwise the temp agency will fight you on unemployment.

What I did was I e-mailed the temp agency my option for the assignment that way if they don't give me the job I have documentation of attempting to contact them. In addition, I went in person to talk to them.

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