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Denial period for private school in MI

by Kate

I'd like your opinion on the school denial period issue. I changed career paths late last year and took a job as a teaching assistant in a private school. I was called only as a sub for the first few months before being assigned to one classroom working 20/wk. I did not sign a contract for that school year. In May, I discussed my need and availability for work in the summer in that school's various summer camp programs. These programs ran at the school thru July. I filed for unemployment not knowing anything about denial periods because my background was not in the teaching field.

My application was approved and I started receiving benefits. In July, I was offered and signed a contract for the coming school year. Now, I have received notice that I am to reimburse the UIA for all the $$ received this summer.

Do I have a chance at appeal because I was not under contract at the time and was available to work in their summer classes?


The issue of school employee denial periods is usually called "reasonable assurance" and will probably be addressed in Chapter 4 at least, of the MESC Precedent Manual.

Now to address your chances for winning an appeal.

Reasonable assurance is some kind of legitimate denial period of benefits which I "think" is supposedly allowed via the US Constitution. At least that's what the MI decisions state.

But, although it's always been my "impression" that it can only apply to public school employees, I don't know if I'm correct to assume this.

I do believe the issue is controlled by this statute in the FUTA

But since you have been working for a "private" school .. and you didn't mention "non profit" school, I would assume that since you worked without an employment contract for that first year .. there couldn't really be a sustainable denial period just because you received a contract for employment for the coming year .. unless the effective date of the employment was stated to begin in July when you received the contract.

What do you think .. a premise for a possible argument?

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Sep 07, 2017
Link change
by: K. KOskela

I am running into a related problem. My job was eliminated as a school librarian at a private parochial school. Unemployment benefits have been held up due to a question on the part of the unemployment office and the school denial period. The link previous provided was inactive. However, this one page explanation for the Michigan UIA is helpful.

Good information K. and thank you for the new url, I made it an active link.

The first thing that caught my attention and was of concern, is was the job at a private parochial school mean they were working for a non-profit in Michigan?

There is also some good information on reasonable assurance / denial periods at the Michigan precedent decisions.

Aug 31, 2011
Teacher Unemployment Benefits During Summer Months
by: Kate

Teacher Unemployment Benefits During Summer Months - Michigan unemployment.

Michigan's Unemployment rules - Public school employees are different than private school teachers

Thanks for providing the link Kate.


Aug 31, 2011
I love you!!
by: Kate

Chris, I took your comment about the private school issue and went digging around on the website. There in beautiful plain English is this line about School Denial Periods:

"It does not apply to a person who works for a private school".


I would have pushed the fact that I was non-contract and that school was operating in June and July. That would probably have been irrelevant and possibly not gotten the result I was looking for.

I have printed the page for presentation of my case. My last question to you is, do I just state this in my appeal letter or do I just do your suggested letter and keep this for the hearing?

haha - the word verification for this post is GRINCH.

You might try this with the appeal because the Michigan claims dept. does upon occasion, correct themselves with a re-determination .. or they will just forward it to the appeals section for the lower level hearing .. which is the section that reviews claim department determinations ..

Of course it is board of review panels that review hearing decisions from the appeals section.

I just added this last bit .. because people get confused about how the appeal process rolls in general.

If you can, could you provide a link to the webpage where you found that?

I'll make it live. I'll even do a bit of kw research in case I can find a relevant term I could win at the engines for:)) and draw attention to it for other teachers.

Aug 31, 2011
Private for profit school
by: Kate

I read thru the case files that you listed and didn't see any private, non-profit schools involved. I also tried to find any mention of private educational institutions listed in the statue but could not. Wow, that is some mind-boggling reading there. Do they write these laws to intentionally prevent the average citizen from knowing what the heck the laws really entail? (That was a rhetorical question, of course they do.)

I feel that I was eligible for benefits because I did not sign a contract stating I was guaranteed employment only thru June. I stated my desire to work in the summer sessions. The fact that students and staff were on premises thru July makes the issue of a denial period questionable too.

The contract that I signed lists Sept 1as the eff. Date.

What aggravates me is 1) the request for repayment was not initiated by my employer. We discussed this and are on good terms. 2) Why, if all school employees are subject to denial periods, was my claim even approved in the first place?!?!

Thank you so much for the tremendous amount of valuable information that you provide and for your prompt responses. You are a wonderful person!

You are very welcome. And .. any understanding you manage to come out with on the other end of the appeal with .. please consider sharing it.

You're not the first teacher to ask me a question, but they usually email me instead of making the unemployment issue that plagues school teachers public.

Of course .. even reasonable assurance is state specific .. at least if I'm to believe the hearing decisions which I've been privy to read.

They are actually what creates my confusion because they always seemed so arbitrary to the last one I'd read.

Private for profit?

That sounds like pure business to me .. and I think the State of MI might have made a boo-boo.

Whether that was unintentional or an unemployment dept's attempt at the ever popular act of attrition to drive recipiency down .. your guess is as good as mine.

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