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Been put "on call" not sure what to do

by Kurt

Over the last 10 months my employer of 2 years has been continually changing my hours in an attempt to save money for the company.

From June 09 thru September 09 my hours were reduced from 40 a week on location to 10 a week working from home.

This was a temporary fix which I agreed to in order to help the business and maintain employment. When I returned to work in Sept. 09 my hours did not return to full time 40 hours a week but rather 24 hours a week which I have agreed with from sept 09 thru present. I was offered full time but felt pressure to not accept as other employees that were sent home had not yet returned to work and the business was not yet out of the hole. This pressure was not from my boss but rather my own humanity (just to be clear)

Now that it is Jan. 2010 My hours are being reduced again. I am now officially an "On Call" employee. Basically with no guarantee of any weekly hours! Luckily fate found me on this site last week and with your advice in my mind I demanded that this change be documented and that I would have it in writing. This documentation follows.

"Effective Jan. 27, 2010 Kurt will be placed On Call for work at "fake business name here". During this period, Kurt will be contacted by phone no later than the day prior to our need for him to work. Kurt may be called in to perform duties other than his primary function for optimal hours worked"

This is not good for me. I haven't been fired, I haven't quit but rather have been put "on call" against my will. My employer simply does not have work for me now, but may next week, next month or tomorrow. I really have no idea!

I know I can't survive on less than what I was making
while only being employed for 24 hours a week so I have some questions that I would certainly like your opinion on.

Can I file and get unemployment while being officially designated as an "on call" employee as this whole "on call" thing is not my idea and would prefer a full time job.

If I am awarded unemployment would it be for my wages at 40 a week or just the 24 hours a week that it was reduced to in sept 09? Or does that not even matter?

Further complicating my issues, I am a resident of Delaware but work in Maryland. Whom do I turn to?

Thanks Chris, any thoughts you can provide would mean much to me.

Hi Kurt,

Well if you had asked me a question in June when your hours were first reduced, I would have told you to file a claim then .. so you could get partial benefits.

The advice is the same now.

But the problem now is that you haven't been working full-time for a while now, so that could have an effect on the amount of earnings used to determine your weekly benefit amount.

Anytime an employer reduces hours to less than what a state considers "fulltime", my suggestion is to open a claim to lock in a monetarily favorable base period because you never know if they will reduce the hours more in the future.

By the way, you should be able to file in either state, but to expedite the matter you should probably file in MD. If Delaware handles the claim it just means you have to wait for DE to contact MD because it's an interstate claim.

States are barely managing to communicate with claimants .. I would wonder how well they are communicating with each other too.

That's why I suggest filing in MD .. to cut out as much back and forth as possible thereby reducing the odds of a communication screw-up.

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Nov 17, 2010
ON Call issue here too
by: Anonymous

Did you win?? How ??

Jan 28, 2010
by: Anonymous

Filing in June would have been a good idea. Its silly but I really like my job and was fearful of retaliation. I still am but enough is enough, I have to live too.

Thanks for the advice with the states. I will go straight to MD to file. Also thanks for your response and this site, it is good to have somewhere to turn that says everything in plain English.

Well, thank you very much! I appreciate words like that more than you know

It's much better than those emails I get telling me I'm a F*****G Idiot because I won't give them for free, what I give to make a living :)

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