The company I work for has been sold. The new owner hired a temp agency to interview and hire us for 90 days. What happens if the temp agency decides not to keep me after 90 days, am I able to collect unemployment benefits from the prior company that was sold? I have worked for them for 2 years, last June they laid me off for a 1 month due to lack of work and I was able to collect unemployment then. I intend on working for the new owner, but want to make sure that I know what my rights are.
Hi Jim. We’ll see how thankful you are when you get done reading my answer .. because temp agencies are a pet peeve of mine.
I changed your title because all unemployed people need to be on their guard against not being found eligible for unemployment if they work for a temp agency.
Temporary workers in this country are a huge group of people who do not even know that they can collect unemployment between assignments .. because it is essentially a “lack of work”. And the size of the group is growing .. because it seems everyone is working temp jobs nowadays.
Many states have added “temporary worker provisions” to their statutes to undermine a temp workers ability to collect unemployment .. or be able to stop paying benefits if temp work becomes your subsequent work to a valid paying claim.
Jim, once you start working for the temp agency .. that IS your employer until you accept work for another company or the client company .. which would be the company that bought your old employer out.
Another factor for you to consider is that anyone who refuses to apply or accept offered suitable work through the temp agency can be denied for that reason. Because the new company will tell the state that you were offered work. I don’t have it in me this morning to address a predecessor/successor relationship which causes this. We just need to know that these things exist and can screw us out of benefits.
Until the point that you are actually “hired” though, through the temp agency .. you can file a claim because when the company was sold, your former employment became a lack of work claim itself. If you are unemployed for any length in the transition from one job to the other .. file a claim.
So let’s move on to the 90 days and what happens if this “assignment ends”.
This is where a temporary worker provision comes into play and Michigan does have a provision now See Table 5-3
Last year many states, changed laws that are favorable to employees .. which will very likely have the effect of more people collecting for personally compelling reasons. States did this so they could get their hands of “stimulus money”.
Many states, including MI, according to DOLETA also added temporary worker provisions .. I’m guessing, as a means to offset the favorable provisions they added.
In 2009 21 states had temporary worker provisions .. this year, 2010, 32 states and Puerto Rico have these provisions.
When you fill out all the paperwork to become an employee of the temp agency .. you should find that you will be signing a form that says if you do not contact the agency within a specified length of time after an assignment ends for another assignment, you will have been considered to have voluntarily quit .. and Jim, it would be without good cause.
So, keep this front and center in your mind if things don’t work out after the 90 days.
This is just one way temp agencies AND A STATE UNEMPLOYMENT PROGRAM fight unemployment claims .. they have a whole bag of tricks for putting workers through the unemployment wringer.
For some reason, temp workers do not understand who it is they are actually working for and the fact that you are basically, a sub-leased employee .. an appeal can become a convoluted mess.
But since I too was in the exact same position you are now in .. I have it straight in my head .. and it honestly took my personal experience as a temp worker to get it that way .. even though I already knew a whole lot about unemployment.
I was only supposed to be a temp worker for 6 months .. it turned into nearly three years with no paid days off, no vacation, no health insurance .. no nothing but working 60 hours a week and getting paid for 40.
When it finally ended .. the temp agency not only appealed my benefits .. they then appealed to the board of review .. of course I won:)
If you have a question when something comes up .. just ask because this is important for so many people and everyone needs awareness of what it means to work for a temporary staffing agency.
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