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Do I qualify for unemployment after 116 days of working at a job that I was forced to resign? (Understanding the importance of the "Base Period"

by Beth
(Jacksonville, Florida)

I worked for a company for 116 days in Florida (or 130 days as I gave two weeks notice but was not required to work those days out. I am being paid for those two weeks.) I was told that I was being fired for not making sales goals or I could quit and retain "rehirable" status. My HR director told me that I had not worked there long enough and would not qualify for unemployment. Prior job to this one, I was an independent contractor or self employeed.

Hi Beth,

The HR director is correct. It's not that you couldn't get benefits or win at a hearing for your separation, because whether they offered you the option to quit for whatever reason in lieu of having a discharge on record .. it's a discharge for unemployment purposes.

Florida determines a person's weekly benefit amount by looking at a period of wages called the base period. A base period can like all things vary from state to state, the most prevalent base used by most states is "the first 4 quarters of the last five COMPLETED QUARTERS.

In other words anyone filing between 7-1 and 9-30 will have the wages from 4-1-08 to 3-31-09 looked at for the "monetary determination. Which includes a minimum amount of wages that needs to earned, but the kicker is that most states also require that there be wages in at least two quarters .. this little requrement is how they make sure we have a "substantial attachment to the labor market".

Now what the HR director probably didn't tell you is that if you wait to file until another quarter .. down the road, all those wages will eventually make it into your base period and if you are still unemployed .. you could file then.

FYI, you can find the minimum amount of wages needed to qualify in any state by using the resource on this page about unemployment pay.

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